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Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive 

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littp://www.arcliive.org/details/essayongeniusofgOOtliaciala 



* • 



AN 



ESSAY ON THE GENIUS 



OF 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS OF HIS WORKS. 



(FROM THE WESTMINSTER REVIEW, No. LXVI.J 

WITH ADDITIONAL ETCHINGS. 



HENRY HOOPER, 13 PALL MALL EAST. 
MDCCCXL. 



LONDON: 

PBINTED BT CHARLES RETKRLL, 
LlTTLt PILTEVEY STBEET. 



stack 
Anriex 

Mo 

ILLUSTRATIONS. 



WOODCUTS. 



PRINTED BY MR S. BENTLEY. 
CHOICE OF PLEASURES - 

WO.VDERFUL OYSTER 
SEIZING A SUBJECT - 
FLYING DUSTMEN (TxRaESTKiAL 

AND Celestial). 
GIN PALACE .... 
SUNDAY COOKERY - 
MISERABLE SINNERS 
DISAGREEABLE RENCONTRE 
BRITISH GRENADIERS - 
IRISH MILITIA ... - 
IRISH BOYS 

IRISH ROW 

IRISH WAKE - - . . 

IRISH JIG 

TEAGUE 

THE DEAF POSTILLION - 
JOHN GILPIN - . - . 
THE EPPING HUNT . 

PRINTED BY MESSRS WHITEHEAD. 

ARMY OF BOMBASTES - 
GHOST OF GAFFER THUMB - 
THE DUTCHMAN AND OUR 

MUTUAL ENEMY - 
THE GENTLEMAN IN BLACK 
USE OF CHANCERY - 
A FRIEND IN NEED - 
PORTRAITS OF LEMONS - 
GARDENERS AND THE BLAT- 

TA BEETLES . . . . 

THIMBLE RIG - . . . 

SPIRITS OF WINE 

CASK OF WHISKEY - 
PITCHER OF ALE 



17 

17 

18 

19,20 

20 
22 
23 
24 
25 
26 
26 

27 

27 
28 
28 

29 

30,31 

32 



as 

34 

36 
37 
38 
39 
40 

41 

42 

43 

44 

45 



SELECTen FROM 



Tliree Courses and a Des- 
sert,' 



■ More Mornings at Bow 

street.' 
' Sunday in London.' 



Tales of other Days.' 
Sunday in London.* 
Tales of Irish Life.' 
Three Courses and a "Des- 
sert,' 

More Mornings at Bow 
street.* 
Tales of Irish Life.' 

» »> >« 
Three Courses and a Des- 
sert.' 

» >» » 
• John Gilpin.' 
' Epping Hunt' 



* Bombastes Furioso.* 

* Tom Thumb.' 

• Tales of other Days.' 
' Gentleman in Black.' 

»» »> »» 
' Tales of other Days.' 

• Three Courses and a Des* 

serf.' 

' Batcman's Orchideaceae of 
Mexico.' 

' More Mornings at Bow 
street.' 

' Three Courses and a Des- 
sert.' 



u 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



8DBJKCT. 


PAGE. 


SXLKCTED FROM 


PRINTED BY MESSRS WHITEHEAD- 






continued. 






MUSHROOM PEER - 


45 


< Three Courses and a Des> 
sert.' 


CADDY CUDDLE .... 


45 




CORPORATION REFORM - 


46 


< Comic Almanac' 


JOHN BULL AND SPECULA. 






TION 


47 




HARD TO PART .... 


47 


' Three Courses and a Des. 
sert." 


COMFORTABLY ASLEEP - 


48 


» It If 



ETCHINGS. 



TRANSFERRED TO STONE, AND PRINTED 
BY MR JOBBINS. 

-PETER SCHLEMIHL - 

TERM TIME 

IGNORANCE IS BLISS 
-TELLTALE 

EXHIBITION, 1835 

HOLIDAY AT THE PUBLIC 
OFFICES 

LAST YEAR'S BILLS - 

BEATING THE BOUNDS - 

SIC OMNES 

SHOWERY, 1839 .... 

LAW LIFE ASSURANCE - 

OLD MAY-DAY(to face Title page) 

PRINTED FROM THE ORIGINAL STEEL 
PLATES, BY MR YATES. 

PHILOPROGENITIVENESS 
-ELECTION FOR BEADLE - 
PARISH ENGINE. 
SCOTLAND YARD 
THE STREETS— MORNING 



35 

38 
23 
25 

58 

57 
45 
50 
16 
48 
52 
16 



16 
16 
16 
16 
16 



Peter Schlemihl.' 
Illustrations of Time. 
Sketch Book.' 

If >» 
Comic Almanac' 



' Illustrations of Phrenology. ' 
' Sketches by Boz.' 



Thanks are due for the loans of the above illustrations, from the ' Comic Almanac,' 
^Illustrations of Time,' 'Phrenology' the 'Sketch Booh,' 'John Gilpin,' and ' Epping 
Hunt,' to Mr Tilt; from ' Sketches by Boz,' to Messrs Chapman and Hall; from 

• More Mornings at Bow street,' and ' Tales of Irish Life,' to Mr Robins ; from 

• Peter Schlemihl,' to Messrs Whitaker ; from ♦ Sunday in London,' to Messrs Dar- 
ton and Clark ; from ' Tales of other Days,' and ' Gentleman in Black,' to Mr 
Daly ; from ' Orchideacece of Mexico,' to Mr Bateman ; from ' Botnbastes Furioso,' 
and ' Tom Thumb,' to Mr Thomas ; and from ' Three Courses and a Dessert,' to 
Alessrs Whitehead. 

*«* In the list of works illustrated by Cruikshanks we have omitted to men- 
tion Dr Bowring's • Minor Morals,' from which some admirable plates would have 
been included in our collection had they not been received too late. 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK'S WORKS. 



1. The Humorist. A Collection of Entertaining Tales, Anec- 
dotes, Epigrams, Bon Mots, &c. J. Robins and Co. London, 
1819. 

2. The Political House that Jack built. With Thirteen Cuts ; 
47th Edition. William Hone. 1819. 

3. The QueeiCs Matrimonial Ladder; a National Toy,with Four- 
teen Step Scenes and Illustrations in Verse, and Eighteen 
other Cuts. Forty-fourth Edition. W. Hone. 1820. 

4. " Non mi ricordo." With Cuts. Thirty-first Edition. Wil- 
liam Hone. 1820. 

5. Doll Tear Sheet, alias the Countess "Jene me rappelle pas" — 
a match for " Non mi ricordo." With Cuts by George Cruik- 
shank. John Fairburn. 1820. 

6. The Political Showman. With Twenty-four Cuts. Twenty- 
first Edition. William Hone. 1821. 

7. Life in London ; or the Day and Night Scenes of Jerri/ 
Hawthorn, Esq. Corinthian Tom, and Bob Logic, in their 
Rambles through the Metropolis. By Pierce Egan, with Co- 
loured Plates by G. and R. Cruikshank. Sherwood. London, 
1821. 

8. A Slap at Slop and the Bridge Street Gang. With Twenty- 
seven Cuts. William Hone. 1822. 

9. Life in Paris ; or the Rambles of Dick Wildfire, S^c. Illus- 
trated by George Cruikshank. London, 1822. 

10. Italian Tales of Humour, Gallantry, and Romance. Se- 
lected and Translated from the Italian. With Sixteen Illus- 
trative Drawings by George Cruikshank. Charles Baldwyn. 
8vo. London, 1824. J. Robins. 1840. 

11. Tales of Irish Life. Illustrative of the Manners, Cus- 
toms, and Condition of the People. With Designs by George 
Cruikshank. J. Robins. London. 2 vols. 1824. 

12. Points of Humour {Pieces partly Original and partly se- 
lected.) Illustrated by a Series of Plates Drawn and En- 
graved by George Cruikshank. Parts 1 and 2. C. Baldwyn. 
London, 1824. 

A 



13. Peter Schhmihl. A New Translation from the German. 
8vo. Wliittaker. London, 1824. 

14. Popular German Stories. Translated from the Kinder and 
Hans Maerchen, collected by MM. Grimm from oral tradi- 
tion. James Robins & Co. London, 1825. 

15. The Universal Songster, or Museum of Mirth. With Illus- 
trations by George Cruikshank. Fairburn. London, 1825. 

16. Mornings at Bow Street. With Illustrations by George 
Cruikshank. Wheatley and Adlard. London, 1825. 

17. More Mornings at Bow Street. With Twenty-five Illus- 
trations by George Cruikshank. J. Robins and Co. London, 
1827. 

18. Hans of Iceland. A Tale. With Four highly-finished 
Etchings by George Cruikshank. Price, 7s. 6d. J. 
Robins. 

19. Greenwich Hospital. A Series of Naval Sketches descrip- 
tive of the Life of a Man of War's Man. By an Old Sailor. 
With Illustrations by George Cruikshank. J. Robins and Co. 
London, 1826. 

20. Three Courses and a Dessert. With Decorations by George 
Cruikshank. Vizitelly and Co. London, 1830. 

21. Tales of Other Days. With Illustrations by George Cruik- 
shank. Efiingham Wilson. London, 1830. 

22. The Gentleman in Black. With Illustrations by George 
Cruikshank. William Kidd. London, 1831. Daly, 
1840. 

23. Tom Thumb; and Bombastes Furioso. Illustrated by 
George Cruikshank. Re-printed in Thomas's Burlesque 
Drama. Thomas. London. 

24. Sunday in London. Illustrated in Fourteen Cuts by 
George Cruikshank, and a few words by a friend of his, with 
a copy of Sir Andrew Agnew's Bill. E. Wilson. London, 
1833. Darton and Clark, 1840. 

25. Mirth and Morality. A Collection of Original Tales by 
Carlton Bruce. Embellished with Engravings by George 
Cruikshank. Tegg. London, 1835. 

26. The Comic Almanac, from 1835 to 1840; containing 
Seven ty-ttwo Plates on Steel, two vols. 17s. bound. C. Tilt. 

27. The Loving Ballad of Lord Bateman. With Twelve 
Humorous Plates, neatly bound in cloth, i)rice 2s. C. Tilt. 



28. My Sketch Book; containing Two Hundred Groups. 
Cloth, 15s. plain; 21s. coloured. C. Tilt. 

29. More Hints on Etiquette. With Humorous Cuts. 2s. 6d. 
C. Tilt. 

30. The Comic Alphabet. Twenty-four Plates. 2s. 6d. plain; 
4.S. coloured. C. Tilt. 

31. Scraps and Sketches. In four Parts, 8s. each. C. Tilt. 

32. Illustrations of Phrenology. 8s. C. Tilt. 

33. Illustrations of Time. 8s. C. Tilt. 

35. Demonology and Witchcraft. In Twelve Plates. 2s. sewed. 
C. Tilt. 

36. Illustrations of the English Novelists ; containing Hu- 
morous Scenes from ' Humphrey Clinker,* ' Roderick Ran- 
dom,' ' Peregrine Pickle,' ' Tom Jones,' ' Joseph Andrews,' 
* Vicar of Wakefield,' &c. &c. Forty-one Plates, with Descrip- 
tive Extracts, Ts. cloth. C. Tilt. 

37. The Bee and the Wasp. A Comic Tale. Four Plates, Is. 
C. Tilt. 

38. Hood's Epping Hunt. Six Engravings by G. Cruikshank. 
New and Cheap Edition, price Is. 6d. C. Tilt. 

39. Cowpers John Gilpin; with Six Engravings. Price Is. 
C. Tilt. 

40. Punch and Judy. With Illustrations by George Cruik- 
shank. Septimus Prowitt. London, 1828. 

41. Bent ley's Miscellany. Vol I to VI. Richard Bentley. 
London. 

42. Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi. Edited by Boz, with Illus- 
trations by George Cruikshank. 2 vols. 8vo. R. Bentley. 
London, 1838. 

43. Oliver Ttvist, or the Parish Boy's Progress. By " Boz." 
3 vols. R. Bentley. London, 1838. 

44. Minor Morals for Young People. By John Bo^vring. With 
Illustrations by George Cruikshank. Parts I, II, and III. 
W. Tait, Edinburgh, 1839. 

45. Sketches by Boz. Illustrated by George Cruikshank. 8vo. 
Chapman and Hall. London, 1839. 

46. Jack Sheppard ; a Romance. By W. H. Ainsworth, Esq. 
With Twenty-seven Illustrations by George Cruikshank. R. 
Bentley. 8vo. London, 1840. 



4 

47. llie Tower of Loinlon ; an Historical Romance. By W. H. 
Ainsworth. With Illustrations on Steel and Wood by G. 
Cruikshank. Parts I to V. Richard Bentley. I^ondon. 
8vo. 1840. 

A CCUSATIONS of ingratitude, and just accusations no doubt, 
"^ are made against every inhabitant of this wicked world, and 
the fact is, that a man who is ceaselessly engaged in its trouble and 
turmoil, borne hither and thither upon the fierce waves of the 
crowd, bustling, shifting, struggling to keep himself somewhat 
above water — fighting for reputation, or more likely for bread, 
and ceaselessly occupied to-day with plans for appeasing the 
eternal appetite of inevitable hunger to-morrow — a man in such 
straits has hardly time to think of anything but himself, and, as 
in a sinking ship, must make his own rush for the boats, and 
fight, struggle, and trample for safety. In the midst of such a 
combat as this, the " ingenuous arts, which prevent the ferocity of 
the manners, and act upon them as an emollient" (as the philo- 
sophic bard remarks in the Latin Grammar) are likely to be 
jostled to death, and then forgotten. The world will allow no 
such compromises between it and that which does not belong to 
it- — no two gods must we serve ; but (as one lias seen in some 
old portraits) the horrible glazed eyes of Necessity are always 
fixed upon you ; fly away as you will, black Care sits behind 
you, and with his ceaseless gloomy croaking drowns the voice of 
all more cheerful companions. Happy he whose fortune has 
placed him where there is calm and plenty, and who has 
the wisdom not to give up his quiet in quest of visionary 
gain. 

Here is, no doubt, the reason why a man, after the period of his 
boyhood, or first youth, makes so few friends. Want and ambition 
(new acquaintances which are introduced to him along with his 
beard) thrust away all other society from him. Some old friends 
remain, it is true, but these are become as a habit — a part of 
your selfishness — and, for new ones, they are selfish as you are ; 
neither member of the new partnership has the capital of affec- 
tion and kindly feeling, or can even affbrd the time that is requi- 
site for the establishment of the new firm. Damp and chill the 
shades of the prison-house begin to close round us, and that 
*' vision splendid" which has accompanied our steps in our jour- 
ney daily farther from the east, fades away ana dies into the 
light of common day. 

And what a common day ! what a foggy> dull, shivering apology 
for light is this kind of muddy twilight through which we are 
about to tramp and flounder for the rest of our existence, wan- 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. d 

dering farther and farther from the beauty and freshness and 
from the kindly gushing springs of clear gladness that made all 
around us green in our youth ! One wanders and gropes in a 
slough of stock-jobbing, one sinks or rises in a storm of politics, 
and in either case it is as good to fall as to rise — to mount a 
bubble on the crest of the wave, as to sink a stone to the bottom. 
The reader who has seen the name affixed to the head of this 
article did scarcely expect to be entertained with a declamation 
upon ingratitude, youth, and the vanity of human pursuit*^, which 
may seem at first sight to have little to do with the subject in 
hand. But (although we reserve the privilege of discoursing 
upon whatever subject shall suit us, and by no means admU the 
public has any right to ask in our sentences for any meaning, or 
any connexion whatever) it happens that, in this particular in- 
stance, there is an undoubted connexion. In Susan's case, as 
recorded by Wordsworth, what connexion had the corner of 
Wood street with a mountain ascending, a vision of trees, and a 
nest by the Dove ? Why should the song of a thrush cause 
bright volumes of vapour to glide through Lothbury, and a river 
to flow on through the vale of Cheapside ? As she stood at that 
corner of Wood street, a mop and a pail in her hand most likely, 
she heard the bird singing, and straightway began pining and 
yearning for the days of her youth, forgetting the proper business 
of the pail and mop. Even so we are moved by the sight of some 
of Mr Cruikshank's works — the " busen fiihlt sich jiigendlich 
erschlittert," the " schwankende gestalten " of youth flit before 
one again, — Cruikshank's thrush begins to pipe and carol, as in 
the days of boyhood ; hence misty moralities, reflections, and sad 
and pleasant remembrances arise. He is the friend of the young 
especially. Have we not read all the story-books that his won- 
derful pencil has illustrated ? Did we not forego tarts, in order 
to buy his ' Breaking-up,' or his ' Fashionable Monstrosities' of 
the year eighteen hundred and something ? Have we not before 
us, at this very moment, a print — one of the admirable ' Illustra- 
tions of Phrenology' — which entire work was purchased by a 
joint stock company of boys, each drawing lots afterwards for the 
separate prints, and taking his choice in rotation ? The WTiter 
of this, too, had the honour of drawing the first lot, and seized 
immediately upon " Philoprogenitiveness" — a marvellous print 
(our copy is not at all improved by being coloured, which ope- 
ration we performed on it ourselves) — a marvellous print, indeed, 
— full of ingenuity and fine jovial humour. A father, pos- 
sessor of an enormous nose and family, is surrouncied by the 
latter, who are, some of them, embracing the former. The 
composition writhes and twists about like the Kcrmes of llubcns. 



6 GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 

No less than seven little men and women in night-caps, in frocks, 
in bibs, in breeches, are clambering about the head, knees, and 
arms of the man with the nose ; their noses, too, are preternatu- 
rally developed — the twins in the cradle have noses of the most 
considerable kind ; the second daughter, who is watching them ; 
the youngest but two, who sits squalling in a certain wicker 
chair ; the eldest son, who is yawning ; the eldest daughter, who 
is preparing with the gravy of two mutton chops a savory dish 
of Yorkshire pudding for eighteen persons ; the youths who are 
examining her operations (one a literary gentleman, in a re- 
markably neat night-cap and pinafore, who has just had his 
finger in the pudding) ; the genius who is at work on the slate, 
and the two honest lads who are hugging the good-humoured 
washerwoman, their mother, — all, all, save this worthy woman, 
have noses of the largest size. Not handsome certainly are 
they, and yet everybody must be charmed with the picture. It 
is full of grotesque beauty. The artist has at the back of his 
own skull, we are certain, a huge bump of philoprogenitiveness. 
He loves children in his heart ; every one of those he has drawn 
is perfectly happy, and jovial, and affectionate, and innocent as 
possible. He makes them with large noses, but he loves them, 
and you always find something kind in the midst of his humour, 
and the ugliness redeemed by a sly touch of beauty. The smiling 
mother reconciles one with all the hideous family: they have all 
something of the mother in them — something kind, and gene- 
rous, and tender. 

Knight's, in Sweeting's alley; Fairburn's, in a court off Lud- 
gate hill ; Hone's, in Fleet street — bright, enchanted palaces, 
which George Cruikshank used to people with grinning, fantas- 
tical imps, and merry, harmless sprites, — where are they ? Fair- 
burn's shop knows him no more ; not only has Knight disap- 
peared from Sweeting's alley, but, as we are given to un- 
derstand, Sweeting's alley has disappeared from the face of 
the globe — Slop, the atrocious Castlereagh, the sainted Ca- 
roline (in a tight pelisse, with feathers in her head), the 
" Dandy of sixty," who used to glance at us from Hone's 
friendly windows — where are they? Mr Cruikshank may 
have drawn a thousand better things, since the days when 
these were ; but they are to us a thousand times more pleasing 
than anything else he has done. How we used to believe in 
them ? to stray miles out of the way on holidays, in order to 
ponder for an hour before that delightful window in Sweeting's 
alley ! in 'walks through Fleet street, to vanish abruptly down 
Fairburn's passage, and there make one at his " charming gra- 
tis " exhibition. There used to be a crowd round the window 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 7 

in those days of grinning, good-natured mechanics, who spelt 
the songs, and spoke them out for the benefit of the company, 
and who received the points of humour with a general sympa- 
thizing roar. Where are these people now ? You never hear 
any laughing at HB. ; his pictures are a greal deal too genteel 
for that — polite points of wit, which strike one as exceedingly 
clever and pretty, and cause one to smile in a quiet, gentleman- 
like kind of way. 

There must be no smiling with Cruikshank. A man who 
does not laugh outright is a dullard, and has no heart ; even the 
old Dandy of sixty must have laughed at his own wondrous 
grotesque image, as they say Louis Philippe did, who saw all the 
caricatures that were made of himself. And there are some of 
Cruikshank's designs, which have the blessed faculty of creating 
laughter as often as you see them. As Diggory says in the 
play, who is bidden by his master not to laugh while waiting at 
table — " Don't tell the story of Grouse in the Gun-room, master, 
or I can't help laughing." Repeat that history ever so often, 
and at the proper moment, honest Diggory is sure to explode. 
Every man, no doubt, who loves Cruikshank has his Grouse in the 
Gun-room. There is a fellow in the ' Points of Humour' who is 
offering to eat up a certain little general, that has made us happy 
any time these sixteen years ; his huge mouth is a perpetual well 
of laughter — buckets full of fun can be draivn from it. We ha^ e 
formed no such friendships as that boyish one of the man with 
the mouth. But though, in our eyes, Mr Cruikshank reached 
his apogee some eighteen years since, it must not be imagined 
that such is really the case. Eighteen sets of children have 
since then learned to love and admire him, and may many more 
of their successors be brought up in the same delightful faith. 
It is not the artist who fails, but the men who grow cold — the 
men, from whom the illusions (why illusions? realities) of youth 
disappear one by one; who have no leisure to be happy, no 
blessed holidays, but only fresh cares at Midsummer and Christ- 
mas, being the inevitable seasons which bring us bills instead of 
pleasures. Tom, who comes bounding home from school, has 
the doctor's account in his trunk, and his father goes to sleep 
at the pantomime to which he takes him. Pater infelix, you too 
have laughed at clown, and the magic wand of spangled harle- 
quin ; what delightful enchantment did it wave around you, in 
the golden days "when George the Third was king!" But 
our clown lies in his grave ; and our harlequin, Ellar, prince of 
how many enchanted islands, was he not at Bow street the other 
day, at Bow street, in his dirty, tattered, faded motley— seized 
as a law-breaker, for acting at a penny theatre, after having 



8 GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 

well-nigb starved in the streets, where nobody would listen to 
his old guitar ? No one gave a shilling to bless him, not one of 
us who owe him 80 much. 

We know not if Mr Cruikshank will be very well pleased at 
finding his name in such company as that of Clown and Harle- 

3uin ; but he, like them, is certainly the children's friend. His 
rawings abound in feeling for these little ones, and hideous, as 
in the course of his duty,ne is from time to time compelled to 
design them, he never sketches one without a certain pity for 
it, and imparting to the figure a certain grotesque grace. In 
happy school-boys he revels ; plumb-pudding and holidays his 
needle has engraved over and over again ; — there is a design in 
one of the comic almanacs of some young gentlemen who are 
employed in administering to a schoolfellow the correction of the 
pump, which is as graceful and elegant as a drawing of Stothard. 
Dull books about c'hildren George Cruikshank makes bright with 
illustrations — there is one published by the ingenious and opu- 
lent Mr Tegg, of Cheapside — from which we should have been 
charmed to steal a few wood-cuts. It is entitled ' Mirth and 
Morality,' the mirth being, for the most part, on the side of the 
designer — the morality, unexceptionable certainly, the author's 
capital. Here are then, to these moralities, a smiling train of 
mirths supplied by George Cruikshank — see yonder little fellows 
butterfly-hunting across a common ! Such a light, brisk, airy, 
gentleman-like drawing was never made upon such a theme. 
Who, cries the author, 

** Who has not chased the butterfly, 

And crushed its slender legs and wings, 
And heaved a moralizing sigli ; 
Alas ! how frail are human things ?" 

A very unexceptionable morality truly, but it would have puz- 
zled another than George Cruikshank to make mirth out of it as 
he has done. Away, surely not on the wings of these verses, 
Cruikshank's imagination begins to soar ; and he makes us three 
darling little men on a green common, backed by old farm- 
houses, somewhere about May. A great mixture of blue and 
clouds in the air, a strong fresh breeze stirring, Tom's jacket 
flapping in the same, in order to bring down the insect queen 
or kin^ of spring that is fluttering above him, — he renders all 
this with a few strokes on a little block of wood not two inches 
square, upon which one may gaze for hours, so merry and life- 
like a scene does it present, what a charming creative power is 
this, what a privilege — to be a god, and create little worlds upon 
paper, and whole generations of smiling, jovial men, women, and 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 9 

children half Inch high, whose portraits are carried abroad, and 
have the faculty of making us monsters of six feet curious and 
happy in our turn. Now, who would imagine that an artist could 
make anything of such a subject as this ? The writer begins by 
stating, — 

" I love to go back to the days of my youth, 
And to reckon my joys to the letter, 
And to count o'er the friends that I have in the world, 
Ayy and those who are gone to a better.^' 

This brings him to the consideration of his uncle. " Of all the 
men I have ever known," says he, " my uncle united the greatest 
degree of cheerfulness with the sobriety of manhood. Though a 
man when I was a boy, he was yet one of the most agreeable 
companions I ever possessed. * * * He embarked for Ame- 
rica, and nearly twenty years passed by before he came back 
again ; * * but oh, how altered ! — he was in every sense of 
the word an old man, his body and mind were enfeebled, and 
second childishness had come upon him. How often have I 
bent over him, vainly endeavouring to recal to his memory the 
scenes we had shared together; and how frequently, with an 
aching heart, have I gazed on his vacant and lustreless eye while 
he has amused himself in clapping his hands, and singing with a 
quavering voice a verse of a psalm." Alas ! such are the conse- 
quences of long residences in America, and of old age even in 
uncles ! Well, the point of this morality is, that the uncle one 
day in the morning of life vowed that he would catch his two 
nephews and tie them together, ay, and actually did so, for all 
the efforts the rogues made to run away from him ; but he was so 
fatigued that he declared he never would make the attempt again, 
whereupon the nephew remarks, — " Often since then, when en- 
gaged in enterprizes beyond my strength, have I called to mind 
the determination of my uncle." 

Does it not seem impossible to make a picture out of this? 
And yet George Cruikshank has produced a charming design, 
in which the uncles and nephews are so prettily portrayed that 
one is reconciled to their existence, with all their moralities. 
Many more of the mirths in this little book are excellent, espe- 
cially a great figure of a parson entering church on horseback, — 
an enormous parson truly, calm, unconscious, unwieldy. As 
Zeuxis had a bevy of virgins in order to make his famous picture 
— his express virgin, a clerical host mast have passed under 
Cruikshank's eyes before he sketched this little, enormous parson 
of parsons. 

Being on the subject of children's books, how shall we enough 



10 GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 

praise tlie delightful German nursery tales, and Cruikshank's 
illustrations of them? We coupled his name with pantomime 
awhile since, and sure never pantomimes were more charming 
than these. Of all the artists that ever drew, from Michael 
Angelo upwards and downwards, Cruikshank was the man to 
illustrate these tales, and give them just the proper admixture of 
the grotesque, the wonderful, and the graceful. May all Mother 
Bunch's collection be similarly indebted to him ; may ' Jack the 
Giant Killer,' may * Tom Thumb,' may * Puss in Boots,' be one 
day revivified by his pencil. Is not Whittington sitting yet on 
Highgate Hill, and poor Cinderella (in that sweetest of all fairy 
stories) still pining in her lonely chimney nook ? A man who has 
a true affection for these delightful companions of his youth is 
bound to be grateful to them if he can, and we pray Mr Cruik- 
shank to remember them. 

It is folly to say that this or that kind of humour is too good 
for the public, that only a chosen few can relish it. The best 
humour that we know of has been as eagerly received by the 
public as by the most delicate connoisseur. There is hardly a 
man in England who can read but will laugh at FalsUiff and the 
humour of Joseph Andrews; and honest Mr Pickwick's story can be 
felt and loved by any person above the age of six. Some may have 
a keener enjoyment of it than others, but all the world can be 
merry over it, and is always ready to welcome it. The best crite- 
rion of good humour is success, and what a share of this has Mr 
Cruikshank had ! how many millions of mortals has he made 
happy I We have heard very profound persons talk philosophically 
of the marvellous and mysterious manner in which he has suited 
himself to the time — fait vihrer la ,/ibre populaire (as Napoleon 
boasted of himself), supplied a peculiar want felt at a peculiar 
period, the simple secret of which is, as we take it, that he, living 
amongst the public, has with them a general wide-hearted sym- 
pathy, that he laughs at what they laugh at, that he has a kindly 
spirit of enjoyment, with not a morsel of mysticism in his compo- 
sition ; that he pities and loves the poor, and jokes at the follies of 
the great, and that he addresses all in a perfectly sincere and 
manly way. To be greatly successful as a professional humorist, 
as in any other calling, a man must be quite honest, and show that 
his heart is in his work. A bad preacher will get admiration and 
a hearing with this point in his favour, where a man of three times 
his acquirements will only find indifference and coldness. Is any 
man more remarkable than our artist for telling the truth after his 
own manner? Hogarth's honesty of purpose was as conspicuous 
in an earlier time, and we fancy that Gilray would have been far 
more successful and more powerful but for that unhappy bribe. 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 11 

which turned the whole course of his humour into an unnatural 
channel. Cruikshank would not for any bribe say what he did not 
think, or lend his aid to sneer down anything meritorious, or to 

E raise anything or person that deserved censure. When he levelled 
is wit against the Regent, and did his very prettiest for the 
Princess, he most certainly believed, along with the great body 
of the people whom he represents, that the Princess was the most 
spotless, pure-mannered darling of a Princess that ever married 
a heartless debauchee of a Prince Royal. Did not millions be- 
lieve with him, and noble and learned lords take their oaths to her 
Royal Highness's innocence ? Cruikshank would not stand by 
and see a woman ill-used, and so struck in for her rescue, he and 
the people belabouring with all their might the party who were 
making the attack, and determining, from pure sympathy and 
indignation, that the woman must be innocent because her hus- 
band treated her so foully. 

To be sure we have never heard so much from Mr Cruik- 
shank's own lips, but any man who will examine these odd 
drawings, which first made him famous, will see what an honest, 
hearty hatred, the champion of woman has for all who abuse her, 
and will admire the energy with which he flings his wood-blocks 
at all who side against her. Canning, Castlereagh, Bexley, 
Sidmouth, he is at them, one and all ; and as for the Prince, up 
to what a whipping-post of ridicule did he tie that unfortunate 
old man. And do not let squeamish Tories cry out about dis- 
loyalty ; if the crown does wrong, the crown must be corrected 
by the nation, out of respect, of course, for the crown. In those 
days, and by those people who so bitterly attacked the son, no 
word was ever breathed against the father, simply because he was 
a good husband, and a sober, thrifty, pious, orderly man. 

This attack upon the Prince Regent we believe to have 
been Mr Cruikshank's only effort as a party politician. Some 
early manifestoes against Napoleon we find, it is true, done in 
the regular John Bull style, with the Gilray model for the little 
upstart Corsican ; but as soon as the Emperor had yielded to 
stern fortune our artist's heart relented (as Beranger's did on 
the other side of the water), and many of our readers will doubt- 
less recollect a fine drawing of ' Louis XVI trying on Napoleon's 
boots,' which did not certainly fit the gouty son of Saint Louis. 
Such satirical hits as these, however, must not be considered as 
political, or as anything more than the expression of the artist's 
national British idea of Frenchmen. 

It must be confessed that for that great nation Mr Cruikshank 
entertains a considerable contempt. Let the reader examine 
the ' Life in Paris,' or the five-hundred designs in which French- 



12 GEORGE CKUIKSHANK. 

men are introduced, and he will find them almost invariably thin, 
with ludicrous spindle-shanks, pigtails, outstretched hands, shrug- 
png shoulders, and queer hair and moustachios. He has the 
British idea of a Frenchman ; and if he does not believe that 
the inhabitants of France are for the most part dancing-masters 
and barbers, yet takes care to depict such in preference, and 
would not speak too well of them. It is curious how these 
traditions endure. In France, at the present moment, the Eng- 
lishman on the stage is the caricatured Englishman at the time 
of the war, with a shock red head, a long white coat, and 
invariable gaiters. Those who wish to study this subject 
should peruse Monsieur Paul de Kock's histories of Lord 
BouUngrog and Lady Crockmilove. On the other hand, the 
old emigre has taken his station amongst us, and we doubt 
if a good British Gallery would understand that such and 
such a character was a Frenchman unless he appeared in the 
ancient traditional costume. 

A curious book, called *Life in Paris,' published in 18^2, 
contains a number of the artist's plates in the aquatint style ; 
and though we believe he had never been in tliat capital, the 
designs have a great deal of life in them, and pass muster very 
well. We had thoughts of giving a few copies of French heads 
from this book and others, which would amply show Mr Cruik- 
shank's anti-Gallican spirit. A villanous race of shoulder- 
shrugging mortals are his Frenchmen indeed. And the heroes 
of the tale, a certain Mr Dick Wildfire, Squire Jenkins, and 
Captain O'Shuffleton, are made to show the true British supe- 
riority on every occasion when Britons and French are brought 
together. This book was one among the many that the de- 
signer's genius has caused to be popular ; the plates are not 
carefully executed, but, being coloured, have a pleasant, lively 
look. The same style was adopted in the once famous book 
called ' Tom and Jerry, or Life in London,* which must have a 
word of notice here, for, although by no means Mr Cruikshank's 
best work, his reputation was extraordinarily raised by it. Tom 
and Jerry were as popular twenty years since as Mr Pickwick 
and Sam Weller now are ; and often have we wished, while 
reading the biographies of the latter celebrated personages, that 
they had been described as well by Mr Cruikshank's pencil as 
by Mr Dickens's pen. 

As for Tom and Jerry, to show the mutability of human 
affairs and the evanescent nature of reputation, we have been to 
the British Museum, and no less than five circulating libraries in 
quest of the book,and ' Life in London,' alas, is not to be found 
at any one of them. We can only, therefore, speak of the work 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 1^ 

from recollection, but have still a very clear remembrance of 
the leather gaiters of Jerry Hawthorn, the green spectacles of 
Logic, and the hooked nose of Corinthian Tom. They were 
the school-boys' delight ; and in the days when the work ap- 
peared we firmly believed the three heroes above named to be 
types of the most elegant, fashionable young fellows the town 
afforded, and thought their occupations and amusements were 
those of all high-bred English gentlemen. Tom knocking down 
the watchman at Temple bar ; Tom and Jerry dancing at 
Almack's ; or flirting in the saloon at the theatre ; at the 
night-houses, after the play ; at Tom Cribb's, examining the 
silver cup then in the possession of that champion ; at Bob 
Logic's chambers, where, if we mistake not, " Corinthian Kate'* 
was at a cabinet piano, singing a song ; ambling gallantly in 
Rotten row ; or examining the poor fellow at Newgate who was 
having his chains knocked off before hanging ; all these scenes 
remain indelibly engraved upon the mind, and so far we are in- 
dependent of all the circulating libraries in London. 

As to the literary contents of the book, they have passed sheer 
away. It was, most likely, not particularly refined ; nay, the 
chances are that it was absolutely vulgar. But it must have had 
some merit of its own, that is clear ; it must have given striking 
descriptions of life in some part or other of London, for all 
London read it, and went to see it in its dramatic shape. The 
artist, it is said, wished to close the career of the three heroes 
by bringing them all to ruin, but the writer, or publishers, 
would not allow any such melancholy subjects to dash the mer- 
riment of the public, and we believe Tom, Jerry, and Logic, 
were married off at the end of the tale, as if they had been the 
most moral personages in the world. There is some goodness 
in this pity, which authors and the public are disposed to show 
towards certain agreeable, disreputable characters of romance. 
Who would mar tlie prospects of honest Roderick Random, or 
Charles Surface, or Tom Jones? only a very stern moralist 
indeed. And in regard of Jerry Hawthorn and that hero with- 
out a surname, Corinthian Tom, Mr Cruikshank, we make little 
doubt, was glad in his heart that he was not allowed to have 
his own way. 

Soon after the ' Tom and Jerry ' and the * Life in Paris,' Mr 
Cruikshank produced a much more elaborate set of prints, in a 
work which was called 'Points of Humour.' These 'Points' 
were selected from various comic works, and did not, we believe, 
extend beyond a couple of numbers, containing about a score of 
copper-plates. The collector cf humorous designs cannot fail 
to have them in his portfolio, for they contain some of the very 



14 GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 

best efforts of Mr Cruikshank's g^enius, and though not quite so 
highly laboured as some of his later productions, are none the 
worse, in our opinion, for their comparative want of finish. All 
the effects are perfectly given, and the expression as good as it 
could be in the most delicate engraving upon steel. The artist's 
style, too, was then completely formed ; and, for our parts, we 
should say that we preferred his manner of 1825 to any other 
which he has adopted since. The first picture, which is called 
* The Point of Honour,' illustrates the old story of the oflBcer 
who, on being accused of cowardice for refusing to fight a duel, 
came among his brother officers and flung a lighted grenade 
down upon the floor, before which his comrades fled i^no- 
miniously. This design is capital, and the outward rush of 
heroes, walking, trampling, twisting, scuffling at the door, is in 
the best style of the grotesque. You see but the back of 
most of these gentlemen, into which, nevertheless, the artist 
has managed to throw an expression of ludicrous agony 
that one could scarcely have expected to find in such a part of 
the human figure. The next plate is not less good. It 
represents a couple who, having been found one night tipsy, 
and lying in the same gutter, were, by a charitable though mis- 
guided gentleman, supposed to be man and wife, and put com- 
fortably to bed together. The morning came ; fancy the surprise 
of this interesting pair when they awoke and discovered their 
situation. Fancy the manner, too, in which Cruikshank has de- 
picted them, to which words cannot do justice. It is needless 
to state that this fortuitous and temporary union was followed 
by one more lasting and sentimental, and that these two worthy 
persons were married, and lived happily ever after. 

We should like to go through every one of these prints. 
There is the jolly miller, who, returning home at night, calls 
upon his wife to get him a supper, and falls too upon rashers of 
bacon and ale. How he gormandises, that jolly miller ! rasher after 
rasher, how they pass away frizzling and smoking from the 
gridiron down that immense grinning gulf of a mouth. Poor 
wife ! how she pines and frets at that untimely hour of midnight to 
be obliged to fry, fry, fry perpetually, and minister to the mon- 
ster's appetite. And yonder in the clock, what agonised face is 
that we see ? By heavens, it is the squire of the parish. What 
business has he there ? Let us not ask. Suffice it to say, that 

he has, in the hurry of the moment, left up stairs his br ; 

his — psha ! a part of his dress, in short, with a number of bank- 
notes in the pockets. Look in the next page, and you will see 
the ferocious, bacon-devouring ruffian of a miller is actually 
causing this garment to be carried through the village and cried 



QEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 15 

by the town-crier. And we blush to be obliged to say that the 
demoralized miller never offered to return the bank-notes, 
although he was so mighty scrupulous in endeavouring to find 
an owner for the corduroy portfolio in which he had found them. 
Passing from this painful subject, we come, we regret to state, 
to a series of prints representing personages not a whit more 
moral. Burns's famous ' Jolly Beggars ' have all had their por- 
traits drawn by Cruikshank. There is the lovely " hempen 
widow," quite as interesting and romantic as the famous Mrs 
Sheppard, who has at the lamented demise of her husband 
adopted the very same consolation. 

" My curse upon them every one, 
They've hanged my braw John Highlandman ; 



And now a widow I must mourn 
Departed joys that ne'er return ; 
No comfort but a hearty can 
When I think on John Highlandman." 

Sweet "raucle carlin," she has none of the sentimentality of 
the English highwayman's lady ; but being wooed by a tinker 
and 

'' A pigmy scraper wi' his fiddle 
Wha us'd to trystes and fairs to driddle," 

prefers the practical to the merely musical man. The tinker 
sings with a noble candour, worthy of a fellow of his strength of 
body and station in life — 

" My bonnie lass, I work in brass, 

A tinker is my station ; 
I've travell'd round all Christian ground 

In this my occupation. 
I've ta'en the gold, I've been enroll'd 

In many a noble squadron ; 
But vain they search'd when off I march'd 

To go an' clout the caudron." 

It was his ruling passion. What was military ^lory to him, 
forsooth? He had the greatest contempt for it, and loved 
freedom and his copper kettle a thousand times better — a kind 
of hardware Diogenes. Of fiddling he has no better opinion. 
The picture represents the " sturdy caird" taking " poor gut- 
scraper" by the beard, — drawing his " roosty rapier," and swear- 
ing to " speet him like a pliver" unless he would relinquish the 
bonnie lassie for ever — 



16 GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 

" Wi' ghastly ee, poor tweedle-dee 
Upon his hunkers bended, 
An' pray'd for grace wi ruefu' face, 
An' so the quarrel ended — " 

Hark how the tinker apostrophises the violinist, stating to the 
widow at the same time the advantages which she might expect 
from an alliance with himself: — 

" Despise that shrimp, ihat withered imp, 
Wi' a* his noise and caperin ; 
And take a share with those that bear 
The budget an' the apron ! 

And by that stowp, my faith an' houpe. 

An by that dear Kilbaigie ! 
If e'er ye want, or meet wi' scant. 

May I ne'er weet my craigie." 

Cruikshank's caird is a noble creature ; his face and figure 
show him to be fully capable of doing and saying all that is 
above written of him. 

In the second part, the old tale of ' The Three Hunchbacked 
Fiddlers ' is illustrated with equal felicity. The famous classical 
dinners and duel in * Peregrine Pickle ' are also excellent in their 
way ; and the connoisseur of prints and etchings may see in the 
latter plate, and in another in this volume, how great the artist's 
mechanical skill is as an etcher. The distant view of the city 
in the duel, and of a market-place in ' The Quack Doctor,' are 
delightful specimens of the artist's skill in depicting buildings 
and back-grounds. They are touched with a grace, truth, and 
dexterity of workmanship that leave nothing to desire. We have 
before mentioned the man with the mouth which appears in this 
number, and should be glad to give a little vignette emblema- 
tical of gout and indigestion, in which the artist has shown all 
the fancy of Callot. Little demons, with long saws for noses, 
are making dreadful incisions into the toes of the unhappy 
sufferer; some are bringing pans of hot coals to keep the 
wounded member warm ; a huge, solemn nightmare sits on the 
invalid's chest, staring solemnly into his eyes ; a monster, with 
a pair of drumsticks, is banging a devil's tattoo on his forehead ; 
and a pair of imps are nailing great tenpenny nails into his 
hands to make his happiness complete. 

But, though not able to seize upon all we wish, we have been 
able to provide a tolerably large Cruikshank gallery for the 
reader's amusement, and must nasten to show off our wares. 



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GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



17 



Like the worthy who figures below, there is such a choice of 
pleasures here, that we are puzzled with which to begin. 




The Cruikshank collector will recognise this old friend as 
coming from the late Mr Clark's excellent work, ' Three 
Courses and a Dessert.' The work was published at a time when 
the rage for comic stories was not so great as it since has been, 
and Messrs Clark and Cruikshank only sold their hundreds 
where Messrs Dickens and Phiz dispose of their thousands. But 
if our recommendation can in any way influence the reader, we 
would enjoin him to have a copy of the ' Three Courses ' that 
contains some of the best designs of our artist, and some of the 
most amusing tales in our language. The invention of the pic- 
tures, for which Mr Clark takes credit to himself, says a great 
deal for his wit and fancy. Cim we, for instance, praise too 
highly the man who invented this wonderful oyster ? 




Vol.. XXXIV. No. I. 



18 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



Examine liim well; his beard, his pearl, his little round 
stomach, and his sweet smile. Only oysters know how to smile 
in this way ; cool, gentle, waggish, and yet inexpressibly inno- 
cent and winning. Dando himself must have allowed such an 
artless native to go free, and consigned him to the glassy, cool, 
translucent wave again. 

In writing upon such subjects as these witli which we have 
been furnished, it can hardly be expected that we should follow 
any fixed plan and order — we must therefore take such advantage 
as we may, and seize upon our subject when and wherever we 
can lay hold of him. 



•-r 







For Jews, sailors. Irishmen, Hessian boots, little boys, beadles, 
policemen, tall Life Guardsmen, charity children, pumps, dust- 
men, very short pantaloons, dandies in spectacles, and ladies 
with aquiline noses, remarkably taper waists, and wonderfully 
long ringlets, Mr Cruikshank has a special predilection. The 
tribe of Israelites he has studied with amazing gusto ; witness 
the Jew in Mr Ainsworth's ' Jack Sheppard,' and the immortal 
Fagin of ' Oliver Twist.' Whereabouts lies the comic vis in 
these persons and things? Why should a beadle be comic, and 
his opposite a charity boy ? Why should a tall Life Guardsman 
have something in him essentially absurd? Why are short 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



19 



breeches more ridiculous than long ? What is there particularly 
jocose about a pump, and wherefore does a long nose always 
provoke the beholder to laughter ? These points may be meta- 
physically elucidated by those who list. It is probable that 
Mr Cruikshank could not give an accurate definition of that 
which is ridiculous in these objects, but his instinct has told him 
that fun lurks in them, and cold must be the heart that can pass 
by the pantaloons of his charity boys, the Hessian boots of his 
dandies, and the fan-tail hats of his dustmen, without respectful 
wonder. 

We can submit to public notice a complete little gallery of 
dustmen. Here is, in the first place, the professional dustman, 
who, having in the enthusiastic exercise of his delightful trade, 
laid hands upon property not strictly his own, is pursued, we 
presume, by the right owner, from whom he flies as fast as his 
crooked shanks will carry him. 




What a curious picture it is — the horrid rickety houses in 
some dingy suburb of London, the grinning cobbler, the smo- 
thered butcher, the very trees which are covered with dust — 
it is fine to look at the diflferent expressions of the two interesting 
fugitives. The fiery charioteer who belabours yonder poor 
donkey has still a glance for his brother on foot, on whom 
punishment is about to descend. And not a little curious is it 
to think of the creative power of the man who has arranged this 
little tale of low life. How logically it is conducted, how cleverly 
each one of the accessories is made to contribute to the effect of 
the whole. What a deal of thought and humour has the artist 
expended on this little block of wood ; a large picture might 



20 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



have been painted out of the very same materials, which Mr 
Cruikshank, out of his wondrous fund of merriment and observa- 
tion, can afford to throw away upon a drawing not two inches 
long. From the practical dustmen we pass to those purely 
poetical. Here are three of them who rise on clouds of their 
own raising, the very genii of the sack and shovel. 




Is there no one to write a sonnet to these ? — and yet a whole 
poem was written about Peter Bell the Waggoner, a character 
by no means so poetic. 

And lastly, we have the dustman in love, the honest fellow 
is on the spectator's right hand, and having seen a young 
beauty stepping out of a gin-shop on a Sunday morning, is pres- 
ing eagerly his suit. 




GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 21 

Gin has furnished many subjects to Mr Cruikshank, who la- 
bours in his own sound and hearty way to teach his countrymen 
the danglers of that drink. In the ' Sketch-book ' is a plate upon 
the subject, remarkable for fancy and beauty of design ; it is 
called the ' Gin Juggernaut,' and represents a hideous moving 
palace, with a reeking still at the roof and vast gin-barrels for 
wheels, under which unhappy millions are crushed to death. An 
immense black cloud of desolation covers over the country through 
which the gin monster had passed, dimly looming through the 
darkness whereof you see an agreeable prospect of gibbets with 
men dangling, burnt houses, &c. The vast cloud comes sweep- 
ing on in the wake of this horrible body-crusher ; and you see, 
by way of contrast, a distant, smiling, sunshiny tract of old 
English country, where gin as yet is not known. The allegory 
is as good, as earnest, and as fanciful as one of John Bunyan's, 
and we have often fancied there was a similarity between the 
men. 

The reader will examine the work called * My Sketch-Book' 
with not a little amusement, and may gather from it, as we fancy, 
a good deal of information regarding the character of the indivi- 
dual man, George Cruikshank. What points strike his eye as a 
painter ; what move his anger or admiration as a moralist ; what 
classes he seems most especially disposed to observe, and what 
to ridicule. There are quacks of all kinds, to whom he has a 
mortal hatred; quack dandies, who assume under his pencil, 
perhaps in his eye, the most grotesque appearance possible — 
their hats grow larger, their legs infinitely more crooked and 
lean ; the tassels of their canes swell out to a most preposterous 
size ; the tails of their coats dwindle away, and finish where coat 
tails generally begin. Let us lay a wager that Cruikshank, a 
man of the people if ever there was one, heartily hates and de- 
spises these supercilious, swaggering young gentlemen ; and his 
contempt is not a whit the less laudable because there may 
tant soit peu of prejudice in it. It is right and wholesome to 
scorn dandies, as Nelson said it was to hate Frenchmen; in 
which sentiment (as we have before said) George Cruikshank 
undoubtedly shares. Look at this fellow from the Sunday in 
London.* 

* The following lines — ever fresh — by the author of ' Headlong Hall ' 
published years ago in the Globe and Traveller, are an excellent comment 
on several of the cuts from the ' Sunday in London.' 

I. II. 

The poor man's sins are glaring ; The rich man's sins are hidden 

In the face of ghostly warning In the pomp of wealth and station, 

He is caught in the fact And escape the sight 

Of an overt act, Of the cKildren of light. 

Buying greens on Sunday morning. Who are wise in their generation. 



22 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 




Monsieur the Chef is instructing a kitchen-maid how to com- 
pound some rascally French kickshaw or the other — a pretty 
scoundrel truly ! with what an air he wears that night -cap of his, 
and shrugs his lank shoulders, and chatters, and ogles, and grins ; 
they are all the same, these mounseers ; look at those other two fel- 
lows — morbleu ! one is putting his dirty fingers into the saucepan ; 
there are frogs cooking in it, no doubt ; and see, just over some 
other dish of abomination, another dirty rascal is taking snuff ! 
Never mind, the sauce won't be hurt by a few ingredients, more 
or less. Three such fellows as these are not worth one English- 
man, that's clear. See, there is one in the very midst of them, 
the great burly fellow with the beef, he could beat all three in 
five minutes. We cannot be certain that such was the process 
going on in Mr Cruikshank's mind when he made the design ; 
but some feelings of the sort were no doubt entertained by him. 



Tl>e rich man has a kitchen, 
And cooks to dress his dinner ; 
The poor who would roast 
To the baker's must post, 
And thus becomes a sinner. 



The rich man has a cellar, 
And a ready butler by him; 

The poor must steer 

For his pint of beer 
Where the saint can't choose but spy him. 



The rich man's painted windows 
Hide the concerts of the quality; 
Tlie poor can but share 
A crack'd fiddle i)i the air. 
Which offends all sound morality. 



The rich man is invisible 

In the crowd of his pay society ; 

But the poor man's delight 

Is a sore in the sight, 
And a stench in the nose of piety. 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



23 



Against dandy footmen he is particularly severe. He hates 
idlers, pretenders, boasters, and punishes these fellows as best he 
may. Who does not recollect the famous picture ' What is Taxes, 
Thomas ? ' What is taxes indeed ; well may that vast, over-fed, 
lounging flunky ask the question of his associate Thomas, and 
yet not well, for all that Thomas says in reply is, / don't know. 
" O beati plushicola," what a charming state of ignorance is yours ! 
In the Sketch-Book many footmen make their appearance : one 
is a huge fat Hercules of a Portman square porter, who calmly 
surveys another poor fellow, a porter likewise, but out of livery, 
who comes staggering forward with a box that Hercules might 
lift with his little finger. Will Hercules do so ? not he. The 
giant can carry nothing heavier than a cocked-hat note on a sil- 
ver tray, and his labours are to walk from his sentry-box to the 
door, and from the door back to his sentry-box, and to read the 
Sunday paper, and to poke the hall fire twice or thrice, and to 
make five meals a day. Such a fellow does Cruikshank hate and 
scorn worse even than a Frenchman. 

The man's master, too, comes in for no small share of our 
artist's wrath. See, here is a company of them at church, who 
humbly designate themselves 

V "miserable sinners!" 







Miserable sinners indeed ! O what floods of turtle-soup ; what 
tons of turbot and lobster-sauce must have been sacrificed to 
make those sinners properly miserable. My lady there, with 
the ermine tippet and draggling feather, can we not see that she 
lives in Portland place, and is the wife of an East India Direc- 
tor ? She has been to the Opera over-night (indeed her husband, 



24 GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 

on her right, witli his fat hand dangling over the pew-door, is at 
this minute thinking of Mademoiselle Leocadie, whom he saw 
behind the scenes) — she has been at the Opera over-night, which 
with a trifle of supper afterwards — a white-and-brown soup, 
a lobster salad, some woodcocks, and a little champagne — sent 
her to bed quite comfortable. At half-past eight her maid brings 
her chocolate in bed, at ten she has fresh eggs and muffins, 
with, perhaps, a half-hundred of prawns for breakfast, and so can 
get over tne day and the sermon till lunch-time pretty well. 
What an odour of musk and bergamot exhales from the pew ! 
— how it is wadded, and stuffed, and spangled over with brass 
nails ! what hassocks are there for those who are not too fat to 
kneel ! what a flustering and flapping of gilt prayer-books ; and 
what a pious whirring of bible-leaves one liears all over the 
church, as the doctor blandly gives out the text ! To be miserable at 
this rate you must, at the very least, have four thousand a-year : 
and many persons are there so enamoured of grief and sin, that 
they would willingly take the risk of the misery to have a life- 
interest in the consols that accompany it, quite careless about 
consequences, and sceptical as to the notion that a day is at hand 
when you must fulfil your share of the bargain. 




Our artist loves to joke at a soldier ; in whose livery there 
appears to him to be something almost as ridiculous as in the 
uniform of the gentleman of the shoulder-knot. Tall life- 
guardsmen and fierce grenadiers figure in many of his designs, 
and almost always in a ridiculous way. Here again we have the 
honest popular English feeling which jeers at pomp or preten- 



>«i. 



• t 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



25 



sion of all kinds, and is especially jealous of all display of mili- 
tary authority. ' Raw Recruit,' ' ditto dressed,' ditto ' served 
up,' as we see them in the Sketch-Book, are so many satires upon 
the army : Hod^e with his ribbons flaunting in his hat, or with 
red coat and musket, drilled stiflF and pompous, or that last, minus 
leg and arm, tottering about on crutches, do not fill our Eng- 
lish artist with the enthusiasm that follows the soldier in every 
other part of Europe. Jeanjean, the conscript in France, is 
laughed at to be sure, but then it is because he is a bad soldier ; 
when he comes to have a huge pair of moustachios and the croix 
d'honneur to briller on his poitrine cicat/isee, Jeanjean becomes 
a member of a class that is more respected than any other in the 
French nation. The veteran soldier inspires our people with no 
such awe — we hold that democratic weapon the fist in much 
more honour than the sabre and bayonet, and laugh at a man 
tricked out in scarlet and pipe-clay. Look at this regiment of 
heroes " marching to divine service," to the tune of the 
' British Grenadiers.' 




There they march in state, and a pretty contempt our artist 
shows for all their gimcracks and trumpery. He has drawn a 
perfectly English scene — the little blackguard boys are playing 
pranks round about the men, and shouting " heads up, soldier," 
" eyes right, lobster," as little British urchins will do. Did 
one ever hear the like sentiments expressed in France ? Shade 
of Napoleon, we insult you by asking the question. In Eng- 



26 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



land, however, see how different the case is : and designedly or 
undesignedly, the artist has opened to us a piece of his mind. 
Look in the crowd — the only person who admires the soldiers is 
the poor idiot, whose pocket a rogue is picking. Here is ano- 
ther picture, in which the sentiment is much the same, only, as in 
the former drawing we see Englishmen laughing at the troops of 
the line, here are Irishmen giggling at the militia. 




We have said that our artist has a great love for the drolleries 
of the Green Island. Would any one doubt what was the country 
of the merry fellows depicted in the following group ? 




" Place me amid O'Rourkes, O'Tooles, 
The ragged, royal race of Tara ; 
Or place me where Dick Martin rules 
The pathless wilds of Connemara." 

We know not if Mr Cruikshank has ever had any such good 
luck as to see tlie Irish in Ireland itself, but he certainly has 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



2T 



obtained a knowledge of their looks, as if the country had been 
all his life familiar to him. Could Mr O'Connell himself desire 
anything more national than the following scene, or could Father 
Matthew have a better text to preach upon ? 




There is not a broken nose in the room that is not thoroughly 
Irish. Here we have a couple of compositions treated in a graver 
manner, as characteristic too as the other. 




28 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 




And with one more little Hibernian specimen we must bid 
farewell to Ireland altogether, having many other pictures in our 
gallery that deserve particular notice ; and we give this, not so 
much for the comical look of poor Teague, who has been pur- 
sued and beaten by the witch's stick, but in order to point the 
singular neatness of the workmanship, and the pretty, fanciful, 
little glimpse of landscape that the artist has introduced in the 
back-ground. 




Mr Cruikshank has a fine eye for such homely landscapes, and 
renders them with great delicacy and taste. Old villages, farm- 
yards, groups of stacks, queer chimneys, churches, gable- ended 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



29 



cottages, Elizabethan mansion-houses, and other old English 
scenes, he depicts with evident enthusiasm. 

.Famous books in their day were Cruikshank's 'John Gilpin' 
and ' Epping Hunt ;' for though our artist does not draw horses 
very scientifically, — to use a phrase of the atelier^ — he feels them 
very keenly ; and his queer animals, after one is used to them, 
answer quite as well as better. Neither is he very happy in 
trees, and such rustical produce ; or rather, we should say, he is 
very original, his trees being decidedly of his own make and 
composition, not imitated from any master. Here is a notable 
instance. 




Trees or horse-flesh, which is the worst? oiriTrep tpvXXwv jevtt} 
TotrjSe Kai i-mroyv : it is impossible to say which is the most 
villanous. 

But what then? Suppose yonder horned animal near the 
postchaise has not a very bovine look, it matters not the least. 
Can a man be supposed to imitate everything ? We know what 
the noblest study of mankind is, and to this Mr Cruikshank has 
confined himself. Look at that postillion; the people in the 



90 GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 

broken-down chaise are roaring after him : he is as deaf as the 
post by which he passes. Suppose all the accessories were away, 
could not one swear that the man was stone-deaf, beyond the 
reach of trumpet ? What is the peculiar character in a deaf man's 
physiognomy? — can any person define it satisfactorily in words? 
— not in pages, and Mr Cruikshank has expressed it on a piece 
of paper not so big as the tenth part of your thumb-nail. The 
horses of John Gupin are much more of the equestrian order, 
and, as here, the artist has only his favourite suburban buildings 
to draw ; not a word is to be said against his design. 'I'he inn 
and old buildings in this cut are charmingly designed, and 
nothing can be more prettily or playfully touched. 

At Edmonton his loving wife 

From the balcony spied 
Her tender husband, wond'ring much 

To see how he did ride. 

" Stop, stop, John Gilpin ! Here's the house !" 

They all at once did cry ; 
*' The dinner waits, and we are tired — " 

Said Gilpin— "So am I!" 




GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 

Six gentlemen upon the road 

Thus seeing Gilpin fly, 
With post-boy scamp'ring in the rear, 

They raised the hue and cry : — 

Stop thief! stop thief! — a highwayman !" 

Not one of them was mute ; 
And all and each that passed that way 

Did join in the pursuit. 

And now the turnpike gates again 

Flew open in short space ; 
The toll-men thinking, as before. 

That Gilpin rode a race. 



31 




The rush, and shouting, and clatter are here excellently depicted 
by the artist ; and we, who have been scoffing at his manner of 
designing animals, must here make a special exception in favour 
of the hens and "chickens ; each has a different action, and is cu- 
riously natural. 

Happy are children of all ages who have such a ballad and 
such pictures as this in store for them ! It is a comfort to think 
that wood- cuts never wear out, and that the book still may be 
had at Mr Tilt's for a shilling, for those who can command that 
sum of money. 

In the ' Epping Hunt,' which we owe to the facetious pen of 
Mr Hood, our artist has not been so successful. There is here 
too much horsemanship and not enough incident for him ; but 
the portrait of lloundings the huntsman is an excellent sketch, 



82 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



and a couple of the designs contain great humour. The first re- 
presents the cockney hero, who "like a bird, was singing out 
while sitting on a tree." 




And in the second the natural order is reversed. The stag 
having taken heart, is hunting the huntsman, and the Cheapside 
Nimrod is most ignominiously running away. 




GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



33 



The Easter Hunt, we are told, is no more ; and as the Quarterly 
Review recommends the British public to purchase Mr Catlin's 
pictures, as they form the only record of an interesting race now 
rapidly passing away, in like manner we should exhort all our 
friends to purchase Mr Cruikshank's designs of another interesting 
race, that is run already and for the last time. 

Besides these, we must mention, in the line of our duty, the 
notable tragedies of ' Tom Thumb,' and ' Bombastes Furioso,' 
both of which have appeared with many illustrations by Mr 
Cruikshank. The ' brave army' of Bombastes exhibits a terrific 
display of brutal force, which must shock the sensibilities of an 
English radical. And we can well understand the caution of the 
general, who bids this soldatesque effrenee to begone, and not to 
kick up such a row. 




Such a troop of lawless ruffians let loose upon a populous 
city would play sad havoc in it ; and we fancy the massacres of 
Birmingham renewed, or at least of Badajoz, which, though not 
quite so dreadful, if we may believe his Grace the Duke of 
Wellington, as the former scenes of slaughter, were never- 
theless severe enough ; but we must not venture upon any ill- 
timed pleasantries in presence of the disturbed Kmg Arthur, 
and the awful ghost of Gaffer Thumb. 



Vol. XXXIV. No. I. 



84 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 




Q-Q 



We are thus carried at once into the supernatural, and here 
we find Cruikshank reigning supreme. He has invented in his 
time a little comic pandemonium, peopled with the most droll, 
good-natured fiends possible. We have before us Chamisso's 
' Peter Schlemihl,' with Cruikshank's designs translated into 
German, and gaining nothing by tRe change. The * Kinder 
und Hans-Maerchen ' of Grimm are likewise ornamented with 
a frontispiece, copied from that one which appeared to the 
amusing version of the English work. The books on Phreno- 
logy and Time have been imitated by the same nation ; and even 
in France, whither reputation travels slower than to any country 
except China, we have seen copies of the works of George 
Cruikshank. 

He in return has complimented the French by illustrating a 
couple of lives of Napoleon, and the ' Life in Paris ' before 
mentioned. He has also made designs for Victor Hugo's 
' Hans of Iceland.' Strange, wild etchings were those, on a 
strange, mad subject ; not so good in our notion as the designs 
for the German books, the peculiar humour of which latter 
seemed to suit the artist exactly. There is a mixture of the 
awful and the ridiculous in these, which perpetually excites and 
keeps awake the reader's attention ; the German writer and the 
English artist seem to have an entire faith in their subject. The 
reader, no doubt, remembers the awful passage in ' Peter 
Schlemihl,' where the little gentleman purchases the shadow of 
that hero — " Have the kindness, noble sir, to examine and try 



J> 




GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. S5' 

this bag." He put his hand into his pocket, and drew thence a 
tolerably large bag of Cordovan leather, to which a couple of 
thongs were fixed. I took it from him, and immediately counted 
one ten gold pieces, and ten more, and ten more, and still other 
ten, whereupon I held out my hand to him. Done, said I, 
it is a bargain ; you shall have my shadow for your bag. The 
bargain was concluded ; he knelt down before me, and I saw him 
with a wonderful neatness take my shadow from head to foot, 
lightly lift it up from the grass, roll and fold it up neatly, and 
at last pocket it. He then rose up, bowed to me once more, 
and walked away again, disappearing behind the rose-bushes. 
I don't know, but I thought I heard him laughing a little. 
I, however, kept fast hold of the bag. Everything around me 
was bright in the sun, and as yet I gave no thought to what I 
had done." 

This marvellous event, narrated by Peter with such a faithful, 
circumstantial detail, is painted by Cruikshank in the most 
wonderful poetic way, with that happy mixture of the real and 
supernatural that makes the narrative so curious, and like truth. 
The sun is shining with the utmost brilliancy in a great quiet 
park or garden ; there is a palace in the back-ground, and a 
statue basking in the sun quite lonely and melancholy ; there is 
a sun-dial, on which is a deep shadow, and in the front stands 
Peter Schlemihl, bag in hand, the old gentleman is down on his 
knees to him, and has just lifted off the ground the shadow of' 
one leg ; he is going to fold it back neatly, as one does the tails 
of a coat, and will stow it, without any creases or crumples, along 
with the other black garments that lie in that immense pocket of 
his. Cruikshank has designed all this as if he had a very serious 
belief in the story ; he laughs, to be sure, but one fancies that 
he is a little frightened in his heart, in spite of all his fun and 
joking. 

The German tales we have mentioned before. ' The Prince 
riding on the Fox,' ' Hans in Luck,' ' The Fiddler and his 
Goose,' 'Heads off,' are all drawings which, albeit not before 
us now, nor seen for ten years, remain indelibly fixed on the 
memory — '''■heisst du etwa Humpelstilzchen?" There sits the 
queen on her throne, surrounded by grinning beef-eaters, and 
little liumpelstiltskin stamps his foot through the floor in the 
excess of his tremendous despair. In one of these German tales, 
if we remember rightly, there is an account of a little orphan 
who is carried away by a pitying fairy for a term of seven years, 
and passing that period of sweet apprenticeship among the imps 
and sprites of fairy-land. Has our artist been among the same 
company, and brought back their portraits in his sketch-book ? 
He is the only designer fairy-land has had. Callot's imps, for 



36 GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 

all their strangeness, are only of the earth earthy. Fuseli's fairies 
belong to the infernal regions ; they are monstrous, lurid, and 
hideously melancholy. Mr Cruikshank alone has had a true 
insight into the character of the " little people." They are 
something like men and women, and yet not flesh and blood ; 
they are laughing and mischievous, but why we know not. Mr 
Cruikshank, however, has had some dream or the other, or else 
a natural mysterious instinct (as the Seherinn of Prevorst had 
for beholding ghosts), or else some preternatural fairy revelation, 
which has made him acquainted with the looks and ways of the 
fantastical subjects of Oberon and Titania. 

We have, unfortunately, no fairy portraits in the gallery which 
we have been enabled to provide for the public ; but, on the 
other hand, can descend lower than fairy-land, and have pro- 
cured some fine specimens of devils. One has already been 
raised, and the reader has seen him tempting a fat Dutch 
burgomaster, in ancient gloomy market-place, such as George 
Cruikshank can draw as well as Mr Front, Mr Nash, or any 
man living. Here is our friend once more ; our friend the burgo- 
master, in a highly excited state, and running as hard as iiis 
great legs will carry him, with our mutual enemy at his tail. 




What are the bets ? Will that long-legged bond-holder of a 
devil come up with the honest Dutchman ? It serves him right, 
why did he put his name to sfeimped paper ? And \et we should 
not wonder that some lucky chance will turn up in burgomaster's 
favour, and that his infernal creditor will lose his labour ; for one 
so proverbially cunning as yonder tall individual with the saucer 
eyes, it must be confessed that he has been very often outwitted. 

There is, for instance, the case of ' The Gentleman in Black,' 
which has been illustrated by our artist. A young French 
gentleman, by name M. Desonge, who having expended his pa- 
trimony in a variety of taverns and gaming-houses, was one day 
pondering upon the exhausted state of his finances ; and utterly 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANR. 



37 



at a loss to tliiiik how he should provide means for future sup- 
port, exclaimed, very naturally, " What the devil shall I do ?" 
He had no sooner spoken, 




than a Gentleman in Black made his appearance, whose 
authentic portrait Mr Cruikshank has had the honour to paint. 
This gentleman produced a black-edged book out of a black bag, 
some black-edged papers tied up with black crape, and sitting 
down familiarly opposite M. Desonge, began conversing with 
him on the state of his affairs. 

It is needless to state what was the result of the interview. 
M. Desonge was induced by the gentleman to sign his name to 
one of the black-edged papers, and found himself at the close of 
the conversation to be possessed of an unlimited command of 
capital. This arrangement completed, the Gentleman in Black 
posted (in an extraordinarily rapid manner) from Paris to 
London, there found a young English merchant in exactly the 
same situation in which M. Desonge had been, and concluded a 
bargain with the Briton of exactly the same nature. 

The book goes on to relate how these young men spent th^ 
money so miraculously handed over to them, and how both, when 
the period drew near that was to witness the performance of 
their part of the bargain, grew melancholy, wretched, nay, so 
absolutely dishonourable as to seek for every means of breaking 



88 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



through their agreement. The Englishman living in a country 
where the lawyers are more astute than any other lawyers in the 
world, took the advice of a Mr Bagsby, of Lyon's Inn, whose 
name, as we cannot find it in the ' Law List,' we presume to be 
fictitious. Who could it be that was a match for the devil? 

Lord very likely ; we shall not give his name, but let every 

reader of this Review fill up the blank according to his own 
fancy, and on comparing it with the copy purchased by his 
neighbours, he will find that fifteen out of twenty have written 
down the same honoured name. 

Well, the Gentleman in Black was anxious for the fulfilment 
of his bond. The parties met at Mr Bagsby's chambers to con- 
sult, the Black Gentleman foolishly thinking that he could act as 
his own counsel, and fearing no attorney alive. But mark the 
superiority of British law, and see how the black pettifogger was 
defeated. 




Mr Bagsby simply stated that he would take the case into 
Chancery, and his antagonist, utterly humiliated and defeated, 
refused to move a step farther in the matter. 

And now the French gentleman, M. Desonge, hearing of 
his friend's escape, became anxious to be free from his own rash 
engagements. He employed the same counsel who had been 
successful in the former instance, but the Gentleman in Black 







6 I.' ^>i wi; 






GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



39 



was a great deal wiser by this time, and whether M. Desonge 
escaped, or whether he is now in that extensive place which is 
paved with good intentions, we shall not say. Those who are 
anxious to know had better purchase the book of Mr Daly, of 
Leicester square, wherein all these interesting matters are duly 
set down. We have one more diabolical picture in our budget, 
engraved by Mr Thompson, the same dexterous artist who has 
rendered the former diahleries so well. 




■ ^^^l^^^m^Sfiif^^iti^.(^m^^.^^^^^ 



We may mention Mr Thompson's name as among the first of 
the engravers to whom Cruikshank's designs have been en- 
trusted ; and next to him (if we may be allowed to make such 
arbitrary distinctions) we may place Mr Williams; and the 
reader is not possibly aware of the immense difficulties to be 
overcome in the rendering of these little sketches, which, traced 
by the designer in a few hours, require weeks' labour from the 
engraver. Mr Cruikshank has not been educated in the regular 
schools of drawing, very luckily for him, as we think, and con- 
sequently has had to make a manner for himself, which is quite 
unlike that of any other draftsman. There is nothing in the 
least mechanical about it; to produce his particular eflects he 
uses his own particular lines, which are queer, free, fantastical, 
and must be followed in all their infinite twists and vagaries by 
the careful tool of the engraver. Look at these three lovely 
smiling heads for instance. 



40 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 




Let US examine them, not so much for the jovial humour and 
wonderful variety of feature exhibited in these darling coun- 
tenances as for the engraver's part of the work. See the infinite 
delicate cross lines and hatchings which he is obliged to render ; 
let him go, not a hair's breadth, but the hundredth part of a 
hair's breadth, beyond the given line, and the feeling of it is 
ruined. He receives these little dots and specks, and fantastical 
quirks of the pencil, and cuts away with a little knife round each 
nor too much nor too little. Antonio's pound of flesh did not 
puzzle the Jew so much ; and so well does the engraver succeed 
at last, that we never remember to have met with a single artist 
who did not vow that the wood-cutter had utterly ruined his 
design. 

Of Messrs Thompson and Williams we have spoken as the 
first engravers in point of rank ; however, the regulations of 
professional precedence are certainly very difficult, and the rest 
of their brethren we shall not endeavour to class. Why should 
the artists who executed the cuts of the admirable ' Three 
Courses ' yield the pas to any one ? If the reader will turn back 
to the second cut in p. 28, he will agree with us that it is a very 
brilliant and faithful imitation of the artist's manner, and admire 
the pretty glimpse of landscape and the manner in which it is 
rendered ; the oyster cut is likewise very delicately engraved, 
and indeed we should be puzzled, were tnere no signatures, to 
assign the prize at all. 

Here for instance is an engraving by Mr Landells, nearly as 
good in our opinion as the very best woodcut that ever was made 
after Cruikshank, and curiously happy in rendering the artist's 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



41 




48 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



{)eculiar manner : this cut does not come from the facetious pub- 
ications which we have consulted, and from which we have bor- 
rowed ; but is a contribution by Mr Cruikshank to an elaborate 
and splendid botanical work upon the Orchidacese of Mexico, 
by Mr Bateman. Mr Bateman dispatched some extremely choice 
roots of this valuable plant to a friend in England, who, on the 
arrival of the case, consigned it to his gardener to unpack. A 

freat deal of anxiety with regard to the contents was manifested 
y all concerned, but on the lid of the box being removed, there 
issued from from it three or four fine specimens of the enormous 
Blatta beetle that had been preying upon the plants during the 
voyage ; against these the gardeners, the grooms, the porters, 
and tlie porter's children, issued forth in arms, and which the 
artist has immortalized, as we see. 

We have spoken of the admirable way in which Mr Cruik- 
shank has depicted Irish character and Cockney character ; here 
is English coimtry character quite as faithfully delineated in the 
person of the stout porteress and her children, and of yonder 
" Chawbacon " with the shovel, on whose face is written " Zum- 
merzetsheer." Is it hypercriticism to say that the gardener on 
the ground is a Scotchman ? there is a well-known Scotch gen- 
tleman in London who must surely have stretched for tlie por- 
trait. Chawbacon appears in another plate, or else Chawbacon's 
brother. He has come up to Lunnon, and is looking about him 
at raaces. 



»: ^-^s-** 




GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



43 



How distinct are these rustics from those whom we have just 
been examining ! They hang about the purlieus of the metro- 
polis : Brook green, Epsom, Greenwich, Ascot, Goodwood, are 
their haunts. They visit London professionally once a year, 
and that is at the time of Bartholomew fair. How one may 
speculate upon the different degrees of rascality, as exhibited in 
each face of the thimblerigging trio, and form little histories for 
these worthies, charming Newgate romances, such as have been 
of late the fashion ! Is any man so blind that he cannot see the 
exact face that is writhing under the thimblerigged hero's hat ? 
Like Timanthes of old, our artist expresses great passions with- 
out the aid of the human countenance. Here is another spe- 
cimen — 




SPIRITS OF WINE. 



Is there any need of having a face after this ? " Come on," 
says Claret-bottle, a dashing, genteel fellow, with his hat on one 
ear, "come on, has any man a mind to tap me?" Claret-bottle 
is a little screwed (as one may see by his legs), but full of gaiety 
and courage ; not so that stout, apoplectic Bottle-of-rum, who 
has staggered against the wall, and has his hand upon his liver ; 
the fellow hurts himself with smoking, that is clear, and is as 
sick as sick can be. See, Port is making away from the storm, 
and Double X is as flat as ditch-water. Against these, awful in 
their white robes, the sober watchmen come. 

Our artist then can cover up faces, and yet show them quite 



u 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



clearly, as in the thimblerig group ; or he can do without faces 
altogether, as we see in the previous page ; or 




cc!s 



he can, at a pinch, provide a countenance for a gentleman out 
of any given object, as we see here a beautiful Irish physiognomy 
being moulded upon a keg of whiskey ; or here, 




GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



45 



where a jolly English countenance froths out of a pot of ale (the 
spirit of brave Toby Philpot come back to reanimate his clay). 
Not to recognise in this fungus the physiognomy of that mush- 
room peer, Lord , would argue oneself unknown — 




Finally, if he is at a loss, he can make a living head, body, 
and legs out of steel or tortoise-shell, as in the case of this viva- 
cious pair of spectacles, that are jockeying the nose of Caddy 
Cuddle : 




Of late years Mr Cruikshank has busied himself very much 
with steel engraving, and the consequences of that lucky inven- 
tion have been, that his plates are now sold by thousands, where 
they could only be produced by hundreds before. He has made 



46 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 



many a bookseller's and author's fortune (we trust that in so 
doing he may not have neglected his own). Twelve admirable 
plates, furnished yearly to that facetious little publication, the 
* Comic Almanac,' have gained for it a sale, as we hear, of nearly 
twenty thousand copies. The idea of the work was novel ; there 
was, in the first number especially, a great deal of comic power, 
and Cruikshank's designs were so admirable, that the ' Almanac ' 
at once became a vast favourite with the public, and has so 
remained ever since. 

Besides the twelve plates, this Almanac contains a prophetic 
wood-cut, accompanying an awful Blarneyhum Astrologicum 
that appears in this and other Almanacs. Here is one that hints 
in pretty clear terms that with the Reform of Municipal Corpo- 
rations the ruin of the great Lord Mayor of London is at hand. 




See his lordship here, he is meekly going to dine at an eight- 
penny ordinary, — his giants in pawn, his men in armour, dwin- 
dled to " one poor knight," his carriage to be sold, his stalwart 
aldermen vanished, his sheriffs, alas ! and alas ! in gaol ! An- 
other design shows that Rigdum, if a true, is also a moral and 
instructive prophet. Behold John Bull asleep, or rather in a 
vision ; the cunning demon, Speculation, blowing a thousand 
bright bubbles about him. 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 




Meanwhile the rooks are busy at his fob, a knave has cut a 
cruel hole in his pocket, a rattle-snake has coiled safe round his 
feet, and will in a trice swallow Bull, chair, money and all ; the 
rats are at his corn-bags, (as if, poor devil, he had corn to spare,) 
his faithful dog is bolting his leg of mutton, nay, a thief has 
gotten hold of his very candle, and there, by way of moral, is his 
ale pot, which looks and winks in his face, and seems to say, 
O Bull, all this is froth, and a cruel satirical picture of a certain 
rustic who had a goose that laid certain golden eggs, which goose 
the rustic slew in expectation of finding all the eggs at once. 
This is goose and sage too, to borrow the pun of "learned 
Doctor Gill ;" but we shrewdly suspect that Mr Cruikshank is 
becoming a little conservative in his notions. 

We love these pictures so 




that it is hard to part us, and we still fondly endeavour to 



48 OEOUGE CRUIKSHANK. 

hold on, but this wild word, farewell, must be spoken by the best 
friends at last, and so good-bye, brave wood-cuts : we feel quite 
a sadness in coming to the last of our collection. A word or two 
more have we to say, but no more pretty pictures, — take your 
last look of the wood-cuts then, for not one more will appear 
after this page — not one more with which the pleased traveller 
may comfort his eye — a smiling oasis in a desert of text. What 
could we have done without these excellent merry pictures? 
Reader and reviewer would have been tired of listening long 
since, and would have been 




comfortably asleep. 

In the earlier numbers of the ' Comic Almanac' all the man- 
ners and customs of Londoners that would afford food for fun 
were noted down; and if during the last two years the mysterious 
personage who, under the title of ' Rigdum Funnidos,' compiles 
this ephemeris, has been compelled to resort to romantic tales, 
we must suppose that he did so because the gre^it metropolis was 
exhausted, and it was necessary to discover new worlds in the 
cloud land of fancy. The character of Mr Stubbs, who made 
his appearance in the Almanac for 1839, had, we think, great 
merit, although his adventures were somewhat of too tragical a 
description to provoke pure laughter. The publishers have allowed 
us to give a reprint of that admirable design before mentioned, 
in which Master Stubbs is represented under the school-pump, 
to which place of punishment his associates have brought him. 
In the following naive way the worthy gentleman describes his 
own mishap : — 

" This did very well, but still I was dissatisfied, I wanted a pair 
of hoots. Three boys in the school had bootg — I was mad to have 
them too. 



^ 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 49 

" But my papa, when I wrote to him, would not hear of it ; and 
three pounds, the price of a pair, was too large a sum for my mother 
to take from the house-keeping, or for me to pay, in the present im- 
poverished state of my exchequer ; but the desire for the boots was 
so strong, that have them I must at any rate. 

" There was a German bootmaker who had just set up in (mr 
town in those days, who afterwards made his fortune in London ; I 
determined to have the boots from him, and did not despair, before 
the end of a year or two, either to leave the school, when I should 
not mind his dunning me, or to screw the money from mamma, and 
so pay him. 

" So I called upon this man — Stiflfelkind was his name — and he 
took my measure for a pair. 

" ' You are a vary yong gentleman to wear dop boots,* said the 
shoemaker. 

" ' I suppose, fellow,' says I, *that is my business, and not yours; 
either make the boots or not— but when you speak to a man of my 
rank, speak respectfully;' and I poured out a number of oaths, in 
order to impress him with a notion of my respectability. 

" They had the desired elfect. — * Stay, sir,' says he, * I have a 
nice littel pair of dop boots dat I tink will jost do for you,' and he 
produced, sure enough, the most elegant things I ever saw. * Day 
were made,' said he, ' for de Honorable Mr Stiffney, of de Gards, 
but were too small.' 

" *Ah, indeed!' said I, 'Stiffney is a relation ol mine: and 
what, you scoundrel, will you have the impudence to ask for these 
things ?' — He replied, ' Three pounds.' 

" ' Well,' said I, * they are confoundedly dear, but, as you will 
have a long time to wait for your money, why, I shall have my 
revenge, you see.' The man looked alarmed, and began a speech; 
* Sare, I cannot let dem go vidout,' — but a bright thought struck 
me, and I interrupted — * Sir ! don't sir me — take off the boots, fel- 
low, and, harkye, when you speak to a nobleman, don't say — Sir * 

" 'A hundred tousand pardons, my lort,' says he: *if I had 
known you were a lort, I vood never have called you — Sir. Vat 
name shall I put down in my books?' 

" 'Name? — oh! why — Lord Cornwallis, to be sure,' said I, 
as I walked off in the boots. 

" * And vat shall I do vid my lort's shoes?' ' Keep them until 
I send for them,' said I ; and, giving him a patronizing bow, I 
walked out of the shop, as the German tied up my shoes in a paper. 

" This story I would not have told, but that my whole life turned 
upon these accursed boots. I walked back to school as proud as a 
peacock, and easily succeeded in satisfying the boys as to the man- 
ner in which I came by my new ornaments. 

" Well, one fatal Monday morning, the blackest of all black-Mon- 
days that ever I knew — as we were all of us playing between school- 

D 



50 GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 

hours — I saw a posse of boys round a stranger, who seemed to be 
looking out for one of us — a sudden trembling seized me — I knew 
it was Stiffelkind : what had brought him here ? He talked loud, 
and seemed angry — so I rushed into the school-room, and, burying 
my head between my hands, began reading for the dear life. 

" ' I vant Lort Cornvallis,' said the horrid bootmaker. * His 
lortship belongs, I know, to dis honourable school, for I saw him 
vid de boys at church yesterday.' 

"'Lord who?' 

'* ' Vy, Lort Cornvallis to be sure — a very fat young nobleman, 
vid red hair, he squints a little, and swears dreadfully.' 

" ' There's no Lord Cornvallis here,' said one — and there was a 
pause. 

" ' Stop 1 I have it,' says that odious Bunting. * It must be 
Stubbs ; ' and ' Stubbs ! Stubbs ! ' every one cried out, while I was 
BO busy at my book as not to hear a word 

" At last, two of the biggest chaps rushed into the school-room, 
and seizing each an arm, run me into the play-ground — bolt up 
against the shoemaker. 

" ' Dis is my man — I beg your lortship's pardon,' says he, ' I 
have brought your lortship's shoes, vich you left — see, dey have 
been in dis parcel ever since you vent away in my boots.' 

" * Shoes, fellow !' says I, ' I never saw your face before ;' for I 
knew there was nothing for it but brazening it out. ' [Tpon the 
honour of a gentleman, said I, turning round to the boys — they 
hesitated ; and if the trick had turned in my favour, fifty of them 
would have seized hold of Stiffelkind, and drubbed him soundly. 

" 'Stop!* says Bunting (hang him!), 'let's see the shoes — if 
they fit him, why, then, the cobbler's right' — they did fit me, and 
not only that, but the name of STUBBS was written in them at full 
length. 

" ' Vat!' said Stiffelkind, ' is he not a lort? so help me himmel, 
I never did vonce tink of looking at de shoes, which have been 
lying, ever since, in dis piece of brown paper;' and then gathering 
anger as he went on, thundered out so much of his abuse of me, in 
his German-English, that the boys roared with laughter. Swishtail 
came in in the midst of the disturbance, and asked what the noise 
meant. 

" ' It's only Lord Cornwallis, sir,' said the boys, ' battling with 
his shoemaker, about the price of a pair of top-boots.' 

" ' O, sir,' said I, ' it was only in fun that I called myself Lord 
Cornwallis.' 

" ' In fun ! — Where are the boots ? And you, sir, give me your 
bill.' My beautiful boots were brought; and Stiffelkind produced 
his bill. ' Lord Cornwallis to Samuel Stiffelkind, for a pair of 
boots — four guineas.' 

" ' You have been fool enough, sir,' says the doctor, looking very 
stern, ' to let this boy impose upon you as a lord ; and knave 



GEOUGE CRLIKSHANK. 51 

enough to chaige him double the value of the article you sold him. 
Take back the boots, sir ; I won't i)ay a penny of your bill, nor can 
you get a penny. As for you, sir, you raisei-able swindler and 
cheat, I shall not flog you as I did before, but I shall send you 
home : you are not fit to be the companion of honest boys.' 

** ' Suppose we duck him before he goes,' piped out a very small 
voice : — the doctor grinned significantly, and left the school-room ; 
and the boys knew by this they might have their will. They seized 
me, and carried me to the play-ground pump — they pumped upon 
me until I was half dead, and the monster, StiSelkind, stood look- 
ing on for the half-hour the operation lasted." 

If the pictures which we are enabled to give at the conclusion 
of this notice are not quite so brilliant and clear as they were 
on the first appearance in the Almanac, the critic must be please<y 
to remember that we have been compelled to transfer to stone\ 
having no other means of adapting them to the size of this re- 
view. When we recollect, too, that twenty thousand impressions 
were previously taken from the steels, the public will not be 
disposed to judge of the engravings in their present condition, 
but will see what they must have been when first they issued 
from the hands of the artist.* One or two have withstood the 
transfer operation very well, especially the pleasant plate of 
* beating the bounds ' (how kindly and good-humoured it is !) and 
the * scene in court,' from last year's almanac, in which the cele- 
brated Mr Mulligan appears in the act of addressing the bench 
in favour of his client, the famous Tuggeridge Coxe Tugge- 
ridge. 

" Standing here (*=ays the orator), on the pedestal of secred 
Themis (we follow the peculiar mode of spelling that is adopted in 
the Almanac) seeing around me the ornyments of a profission I 
rispiet, a vinnerable judge, an enlightened jury — the netion's glory, 
the counthry's cheap defendther, the poor man's priceless palladium, 
how must I thremble, my Lard, how must the blush of modesty 
befew my cheeks (somebody in court made an allusion to cheeks in 
the court, which caused a dreadful roar of laughter, and when order 
was established Mr Mulligan continued) : My Lard, I heed them 
not, I come from a counthry accustomed to opprission, and as that 



• A propos of the " Holiday at the Public Offices" — (a delightful picture 
of real life) — we are reminded of the diary kept by a certain clerk in a 
certain public office eastward of Cornhill, whose daily duties began with a 
good breakfast, provided for him whilst the monopoly of the China trade 
lasted. 

From 10 till 11 — ate a breakfast for seven, 
From 1 1 till noon, — to begin, 'twas too soon. 
From 12 till 1 — asked what's to be done.' 
From 1 till 2 — found nothing to do. 
From 2 till 3 — began to foresee 
That from 3 till 4 would be a great bore. 



52 GEORGE CRUIKSMANK. 

counthry, yes, my Lard, that Ireland (do not laugh, I am proud of 
it) is ever, in spite of her tyrants, green, lovely, and beautiful ; in 
like manner my client's cause will rise superior to the malignant im- 
becility, I repeat, me Lard, the malignant imbecility of those 
who would thrample it down, and in whose teeth, in my client's 
name, in my counthry's, aye, and in my omn, I with folded arrums 
hurl a scornful and eternal defiance ! " 

We should be glad to devote a few pages to the ' Illustrations of 
Time,' the * Scraps and Sketches,' and the 'Illustrations of Phreno- 
logy,' which are among the most famous of our artist's publications ; 
but it is very difficult to find new terms of praise, as find them one 
must, when reviewing Mr Cruikshank's publications, and more 
difficult still (as the reader of this notice will no doubt have per- 
ceived for himself long since) to translate his designs into words, 
and go to the printer's box for a description of all that fun and 
humour which the artist can produce by a few skilful turns of 
his needle. A famous article upon the ' Illustrations of Time ' 
appeared some dozen years since in ' Blackwood's Magazine,* 
of which the conductors have always been great admirers of our 
artist, as became men of humour and genius. To these grand 
qualities do not let it be supposed that we are laying claim, but, 
thank Heaven, Cruikshank's humour is so good and benevolent 
that any man must love it, and on this score we may speak as 
well as another. 

Then there are the 'Greenwich Hospital' designs, which must 
not be passed over. ' Greenwich Hospital ' is a hearty, good- 
natured book, in the Tom Dibdin school, treating of the virtues 
of British tars, in approved nautical language. They maul 
Frenchmen and Spaniards, they go out in brigs and take frigates, 
they relieve women in distress, and are yard-arm and yard- 
arming, athwart-hawsing, marlinspiking, binnacling, and helm's- 
a-leeing, as honest seamen invariably do, in novels, on the stage, 
and doubtless on board ship. This we cannot take upon us to 
say, but the artist, like a true Englishman, as he is, loves dearly 
these brave guardians of Old England, and chronicles their rare 
or fanciful exploits with the greatest good will. Let any one 
look at the noble head of Nelson, in the ' Family Library,' and 
they will, we are sure, think with us that the designer must have 
felt and loved what he drew. There are to this abridgment of 
Southey's admirable book many more cuts after Cruikshank ; 
and about a dozen pieces by the same hand will be found in a 
work equally popular, Lockhart's excellent ' Life of Napoleon.' 
Among these the retreat from Moscow is very fine ; the Mam- 
louks most vigorous, furious, and barbarous, as they should be. 
At the end of these three volumes Mr Cruikshank's contribu- 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 58 

tions to the ' Family Library ' seem suddenly to have ceased ; 
the work, which was then the property of Mr Murray, has since 
that period passed into the hands of Mr Te^g, whose shop seems 
to be the bourne to which most books travel — the fatal retreat of 
the unfortunate brave. Mr Tegg-, like death, will never give 
up his prey. We implored of him a loan of the precious wood- 
blocks that are buried in his warehouses ; but no, Tegg was 
inexorable, and such of Mr Cruikshank's charming little cTiildreii 
as have found their way to him, have not been permitted to take 
a holiday with many of their brethren whose guardians are not 
so severe. 

Let us offer our thanks to Messrs Whitehead, Tilt, Robins, 
Darton and Clark, Thomas, and Daly, proprietors of the Cruik- 
shank cuts, who have lent us of their store. Only one man has 
imitated Mr Tegg, and he, we are sorry to say, is no other than 
George Cruikshank himself, who, although besought by humble 
ambassadors, pestered by printers'-devils and penny post letters, 
did resolutely refuse to have any share in the blowing of his own 
trumpet, and showed our messengers to the door. 

Our stock of plates has also been increased by the kindness of 
Messrs Chapman and Hall, who have lent us some of the designs 
for the Boz sketches, not the worst among Mr Dickens's books, 
as we think, and containing some of the best of Mr Cruikshank's 
designs. 

We are not at all disposed to undervalue the works and genius 
of Mr Dickens, and we are sure that he would admit as readily 
as any man the wonderful assistance that he has derived from the 
artist, who has given us the portraits of his ideal personages, and 
made them familiar to all the world. Once seen, these figures 
remain impressed on the memory, which otherwise would have 
had no hold upon them, and the Jew and Bumble, and the heroes 
and heroines of the Boz sketches, become personal acquaintances 
with each of us. O that Hogarth could have illustrated Fielding 
in the same way ! and fixed down on paper those grand figures 
of Parson Adams, and Squire AUworthy, and the great Jonathan 
Wild. 

With regard to the modern romance of ' Jack Sheppard,' in 
which the latter personage makes' a second appearance, it seems 
to us that Mr Cruikshank really created the tale, and that Mr 
Ainsworth, as it were, only put words to it. Let any reader of 
the novel think over it for a while, now that it is some months since 
he has perused and laid it down — let him think, and tell us what 
he remembers of the tale ? George Cruikshank's pictures — always 
George Cruikshank's pictures. The storm in the Thames, for 
instance ; all the author's laboured description of that event has 



54 GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 

passed clean away — we have only before the mind's eye the fine 

Elates of Cruikshank. The poor wretch cowering under the 
ridge arch, as the waves come rushing in, and the boats are 
whirling away in the drift of the great swollen black waters ; and 
let any man look at that second plate of the murder on the Thames, 
and he must acknowledge how much more brilliant the artist's 
description is than the writer's, and what a real genius for the 
terrible as well as for the ridiculous the former has ; how awful 
is the gloom of the old bridge, a few lights glimmering from the 
houses here and there, but not so as to be reflected on the water 
at all, which is too turbid and raging ; a great heavy rack of 
clouds goes sweeping over the bridge, and men with flaring 
torches, the murderers, are borne away with the stream. 

The author requires many pages to describe the fury of the 
storm, which Mr Cruikshank has represented in one. First, 
he has to prepare you with the something inexpressibly melan- 
choly in sailing on a dark night upon the Thames ; " the ripple 
of the water," " the darkling current," " the indistinctively seen 
craft," " the solemn shadows " and other phenomena visible on 
rivers at night are detailed (with not unskilful rhetoric) in order 
to bring the reader into a proper frame of mind for the deeper 
gloom and horror which is to ensue. Then follow pages of de- 
scription. " As Rowland sprang to the helm, and gave the 
signal for pursuit, a war like a volley of ordnance was heard 
aloft, and the wind again burst its bondage. A moment before 
the surface of the stream was as black as ink. It was now 
whitening, hissing, and seething, like an enormous cauldron. 
The blast once more swept over the agitated river, whirled off 
the sheets of foam, scattered them far and wide in rain drops, 
and left the raging torrent blacker than before. Destruction 
everywhere marked the course of the gale. Steeples toppled and 
towers reeled beneath its fury. All was darkness, horror, con- 
fusion, ruin. Men fled from their tottering habitations and re- 
turned to them, scared by greater danger. The end of the world 
seemed at hand. * * * * The hurricane had now reached its 
climax. The blast shrieked, as if exulting in its wrathful mis- 
sion. Stunning and continuous, the din seemed almost to take 
away the power of hearing. He who had faced the gale would 
have been instantly stijied" &c. &c. See with what a tremen- 
dous war of words (and good loud words too ; Mr Ainsworth's 
description is a good and spirited one) the author is obliged to 

{)our in upon the reader before he can effect his purpose upon the 
atter, and inspire him with a proper terror. The painter does 
it at a glance, and old Wood's dilemma in the midst of that tre- 
mendous storm, with the little infant at his bosom, is remem- 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 55 

bered afterwards, not from the words, but from the visible image 
of them that the artist has left us. 

It would not, perhaps, be out of place to glance through the 
whole of the ' Jack Sheppard ' plates, which are among the most 
finished and the most successful of Mr Cruikshank's per- 
formances, and say a word or two concerning them. Let us begin 
with finding fault with No. 1, ' Mr Wood ofl'ers to adopt little 
Jack Sheppard.' A poor print, on a poor subject; the figure of 
the woman not as carefully designed as it might be, and the 
expression of the eyes (not an uncommon fault with our artist) 
much caricatured. The print is cut up, to use the artist's phrase, 
by the numbers of accessories which the engraver has thought 
proper, after the author's elaborate description, elaborately to 
reproduce. The plate of ' Wild discovering Darrell in the loft ' 
is admirable — ghastly, terrible, and the treatment of it extra- 
ordinarily skilful, minute, and bold. The intricacies of the tile- 
work, and the mysterious twinkling of light among the beams, 
are excellently felt and rendered, and one sees here, as in the 
two next plates of the storm and murder, what a fine eye the 
artist has, what a skilful hand, and what a sympathy for the wild 
and dreadful. As a mere imitation of nature, the clouds and the 
bridge in the murder picture may be examined by painters who 
make far higher pretensions than Mr Cruikshank. In point of 
workmanship they are equally good, the manner quite unaffected, 
the effect produced without any violent contrast, the whole scene 
evidently well and philosophically arranged in the artist's brain, 
before he began to put it upon copper. 

The famous drawing of ' Jack carving the name on the beam,* 
which has been transferred to half the play-bills in town, is over- 
loaded with accessories, as the first plate ; but they are much 
better arranged than in the last named engraving, and do not 
injure the effect of the principal figure. Remark, too, the con- 
scientiousness of the artist, and that shrewd pervading idea of 
form which is one of his principal characteristics. Jack is sur- 
rounded by all sorts of implements of his profession ; he stands 
on a regular carpenter's table, away in the shadow under it lie 
shavings and a couple of carpenter's hampers. The glue-pot, the 
mallet, the chisel-handle, the planes, the saws, the hone with its 
cover, and the other paraphernalia are all represented with extra- 
ordinary accuracy and forethought. The man's mind has retained 
the exact drawing of all these minute objects (unconsciously 
perhaps to himself), but we can see with what keen eyes he must 
go through the world, and what a fund of facts (as such a know- 
ledge of the shape of objects is in his profession) this keen 
student of nature has stored away in his brain. In the next plate, 



56 GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 

where Jack is escaping from his mistress, the figure of that lady, 
one of the deepest of the ^aOvKoXiroif strikes us as disagreeable 
and unrefined ; that of Winifred is, on the contrary, very pretty 
and graceful ; and Jack's puzzled, slinking look must not be for- 
gotten. All the accessories are good, and the apartment has a 
snug, cosy air, which is not remarkable, except that it shows 
how faithfully the designer has performed his work, and how 
curiously he has entered into all the particulars of the subject. 

Master Thames Darrell, the handsome young man of the 
book, is, in Mr Cruikshank's portraits of him, no favourite of 
ours. The lad seems to wish to make up for the natural insig- 
nificance of his face by frowning on all occasions most portentously. 
^ *^ This figure, borrowed from the compositor's desk, will 

I * §^^^ ^ notion of what we mean. Wild's face is too violent 

I for the great man of history (if we may call Fielding 
history), but this is in consonance with the ranting, frowning, 
braggadocio character that Mr Ainsworth has given him. 

The * Interior of Willesden Church ' is excellent as a com- 
position, and a piece of artistical workmanship ; the groups well 
arranged, and the figure of Mrs Sheppard looking round alarmed, 
as her son is robbing the dandy Kneebone, is charming, simple, 
and unaffected. Not so ' Mrs Sheppard ill in bed,' whose face is 
screwed up to an expression vastly too tragic. The little glimpse 
of the church seen through the open door of the room is very 
beautiful and poetical : it is in such small hints that an artist 
especially excels ; they are the morals which he loves to append 
to his stories, and are always appropriate and welcome. The 
boozing ken is not to our liking; Mrs Sheppard is there with 
her horrified eyebrows again. Why this exaggeration — is it 
necessary for the public ? We think not, or if they require such 
excitement, let our artist, like a true painter as he is, teach them 
better things.* 

The * Escape from Willesden cage ' is excellent ; the * Bur- 

flary in Wood's house ' has not less merit ; ' Mrs Sheppard in 
►edlam,' a ghastly picture, indeed, is finely conceived, but not, 

* A gentleman (whose wit is so celebrated that one should be very 
cautious in repeating his stories,) gave the writer a good illustration of the 

philosophy of exaggeration. Mr was once behind the scenes at the 

Opera when the scene-shifters were preparing for the ballet. Flora was to 
sleep under a bush, whereon were growing a number of roses, and amidst 
which was fluttering a gay covey of butterflies. In size the roses exceeded 
the most expansive sun-flowers, and the butterflies were as large as cocked- 
hats ; — the scene-shifter explained to Mr , who asked the reason why 

everything was so magnified, that the galleries could never see the objects 
unless they were enormously exaggerated. How many of our writers and 
designers work for the galleries ? 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 57 

as we fancy, so carefully executed ; it would be better for a little 
more careful drawing in the female figure. 

' Jack sitting for bis picture ' is a very pleasing group, and 
savours of the manner of Hogarth, who is introduced in the com- 
pany. The ' Murder of Trenchard ' must be noticed too as 
remarkable for the effect and terrible vigour which the artist has 
given to the scene. The ' Willesden Churchyard ' has great 
merit too, but the gems of the book are the little vignettes illus- 
trating the escape from Newgate. Here, too, much anatomical 
care of drawing is not required ; the figures are so small that the 
outline and attitude need only to be indicated, and the designer 
has produced a series of figures quite remarkable for reality and 
poetry too. There are no less than ten of Jack's feats so de- 
scribed by Mr Cruikshank. (Let us say a word here in praise of 
the excellent manner in which the author has carried us through 
the adventure.) Here is Jack clattering up the chimney, now 
peering into the lonely red room, now opening " the door 
between the red room and the chapel." What a wild, fierce, 
scared look he has, the young ruffian, as cautiously he steps in, 
holding light his bar of iron. You can see by his face how his 
heart is beating ! If aiTy one were there ! but no ! And this is 
a very fine characteristic of the prints, the extreme loneliness of 
them all. Not a soul is there to disturb him — woe to him who 
should — and Jack drives in the chapel gate, and shatters down 
the passage door, and there you have him on the leads, up he 
goes, it is but a spring of a few feet from the blanket, and he is 
gone — ahiit, evasit, erupit. Mr Wild must catch him again if he 
can. 

We must not forget to mention ' Oliver Twist,' and Mr 
Cruikshank's famous designs to that work.* The sausage scene 
at Fagin's, Nancy seizing the boy; that capital piece of hu- 
mour, Mr Bumble's courtship, which is even better in Cruik- 
shank's version than in Boz's exquisite account of the inter- 
view ; Sykes's farewell to the dog ; and the Jew, — the dreadful 
Jew — that Cruikshank drew ! What a fine touching picture of 
melancholy desolation is that of Sykes and the dog ! The poor 
cur is not too well drawn, the landscape is stiff and formal ; but 
in this case the faults, if faults they be, of execution rather add 
to than diminish the efiect of the picture : it has a strange, wild, 
dreary, broken-hearted look ; we fancy we see the landscape as 
it must have appeared to Sykes, when ghastly and with bloodsjiot 
eyes he looked at it. As for the Jew in the dungeon, let us say 

* Or his uew work, * The Tower of London,' which promises even to 
surpass Mr Cruikshank's former productions. 



5/8 GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 

nothing of it — what can we say to describe it? What a fine 
homely poet is the man who can produce this little world of mirth 
or woe for us ! Does he elaborate his effects by slow process of 
thoughts, or do they come to him by instinct ? Does the painter 
ever arrange in his brain an image so complete, that he after- 
wards can copy it exactly on the canvass, or does the hand work 
in spite of him ? 

A great deal of this random work of course every artist has 
done in his time, many men produce effects of which they never 
dreamed, and strike on excellencies, hap-hazard, which gain for 
them reputation; but a fine quality in Mr Cruikshank, the 
quality of his success, as we have said before, is the extraordinary 
earnestness and good faith with which he executes all he attempts 
— the ludicrous, the polite, the low, the terrible. In the second 
of these he often, in our fancy, fails, his figures lacking elegance 
and descending to caricature ; but there is something fine in this 
too ; it is good that he should fail, that he should have these 
honest naive notions regarding the beau monde, the character- 
istics of which a namby-pamby tea-party painter could hit off 
far better than he. He is a great deal too downright and manly 
to appreciate the flimsy delicacies of small society — you cannot 
expect a lion to roar you like any sucking dove, or frisk about a 
drawing-room like a lady's little spaniel. 

If then, in the course of his life and business, he has been 
occasionally obliged to imitate the ways of such small animals, 
he has done so, let us say it at once, clumsily, and like as a lion 
should. Many artists, we hear, hold his works rather cheap ; 
they prate about bad drawing, want of scientific knowledge ; — 
they would have something vastly more neat, regular, anatomical. 

Not one of the whole band most likely but can paint an 
academy figure better than himself; nay, or a portrait of an 
alderman's lady and family of children. But look down the 
list of the painters and tell us who are they ? How many among 
these men are poets, makers, possessing the faculty to create, 
the greatest among the gifts with which Providence has endowed 
the mind of man? Say how many there are, count up what 
they have done, and see what in the course of some nine-and- 
twenty years has been done by this indefatigable man. 

What amazing energetic fecundity do we find in him ! As a 
boy he began to fight for bread, has been hungry (twice a day 
we trust) ever since, and has been obliged to sell his wit for his 
bread week by week. And his wit, sterling gold as it is, will 
find no such purchasers as the fashionable painter's thin pinch- 
beck, who can live comfortably for six weeks, when paid for and 
painting a portrait, and fancies his mind prodi<riously occu})ied 



^ 



GEORGE CRUIKSHANK. 59 

all the while. There was an artist in Paris, an artist hair-dresser, 
who used to be fatigued and take restoratives after inventing a 
new coiffure. By no such gentle operation of head-dressing has 
Cruikshank lived : time was (we are told so in print) when for 
a picture with thirty heads in it he was paid three guineas — a 
poor week's pittance truly, and a dire week's labour. We make 
no doubt that the same labour would at present bring him 
twenty times the sum ; but whether it be ill-paid or well, what 
labour has Mr Cruikshank's been ! Week by week, for thirty 
years, to produce something new; some smiling offspring of 
painful labour, quite independent and distinct from its ten 
thousand jovial brethren; in what hours of sorrow and ill-health 
to be told by the world, " Make us laugh or you starve — Give 
us fresh fun ; we have eaten up the old and are hungry." And 
all this has he been obliged to do — to wring laughter day by 
day, sometimes, perhaps, out of want, often certainly from ill- 
health or depression — to keep the fire of his brain perpetually 
alight, for the greedy public will give it no leisure to cool. 
This he has done and done well. He has told a thousand truths 
in as many strange and fascinating ways ; he has given a thou- 
sand new and pleasant thoughts to millions of people ; he has 
never used his wit dishonestly ; he has never, in all the exube- 
rance of his frolicsome humour, caused a single painful or guilty 
blush ; how little do we think of the extraordinary power of this 
man, and how ungrateful we are to him ! 

Here, as we are come round to the charge of ingratitude, the 
starting-post from which we set out, perhaps we had better con- 
clude. The reader will perhaps wonder at the high-flown tone 
in which we speak of the services and merits of an individual, 
whom he considers a humble scraper on steel, that is wonderfully 
popular already. But none of us remember all the benefits 
we owe him ; they have come one by one, one driving out the 
memory of the other : it is only when we come to examine them 
altogether as the writer has done, who has a pile of books on 
the table before him* — a heap of personal kindnesses from George 
Cruikshank (not presents, if you please, for we bought, borrowed, 
or stole every one of them), that we feel what we owe him. 
Look at one of Mr Cruikshank's works, and we pronounce him an 
excellent humourist. Look at all, his reputation is increased by 
a kind of geometrical progression ; as a whole diamond is a hun- 
dred times more valuable than the hundred splinters into which 
it might be broken would be. A fine rough English diamond is 
this about which we have been writing. 9 

• The long list of Mr Cruikshank s works which heads this article is, we 
fear, far from complete, though we have ti'ied hard to make it so. 



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